President Donald Trump at a "Keep America Great" campaign rally...

President Donald Trump at a "Keep America Great" campaign rally at Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio, on Jan. 9. Credit: AFP via Getty Images/SAUL LOEB

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump, in tweets aimed at Democratic presidential hopeful Mike Bloomberg, on Monday took credit for preserving health care protections for Americans with preexisting medical conditions, despite supporting a Republican-led lawsuit seeking to repeal those protections.

Trump, in one of his most direct attacks on Bloomberg since the former New York City mayor launched his self-financed presidential bid in November, accused the billionaire of “false advertising.” Trump appeared to take issue with a Bloomberg TV ad that takes aim at Trump’s efforts to undo Obama's Affordable Care Act.

Bloomberg’s ad kicks off with footage of Trump saying in a speech “Let Obamacare implode.” It continues with a New York City nurse stating “these wild attacks on health care hurt the patients that I care for,” and touts Bloomberg’s health care record as mayor.

Trump on Monday tweeted: “Mini Mike Bloomberg is spending a lot of money on False Advertising. I was the person who saved Preexisting Conditions in your Healthcare, you have it now, while at the same time winning the fight to rid you of the expensive, unfair and very unpopular Individual Mandate.”

The president’s assertions that he “saved” preexisting conditions come despite his administration's backing of a 2017 federal lawsuit by 20 Republican-led states calling for the entire Affordable Care Act to be invalidated, including its protections for those with preexisting conditions.

Bloomberg responded to Trump’s tweet with his own Twitter missive noting the Republican lawsuit.

“Glad to see you're watching our ads, @realDonaldTrump,” Bloomberg tweeted. “I know management isn't your strong suit, so perhaps you don't know your Justice Department supports a suit that would undermine protections for preexisting conditions. Now that you know, why not ask them to drop the suit?”

Trump also backed a House Republican bill in 2017 that would have allowed states to seek federal waivers to allow state insurance providers to charge higher premiums to those with preexisting conditions.

Trump on Twitter insisted “I will always protect your Preexisting Conditions, the Dems will not!”

In fact, Democrats under Obama passed protections for those with preexisting conditions, and made upholding the protections a key issue in the 2018 midterm congressional elections.

Bloomberg, who to date has spent nearly $200 million on campaign advertising, has said he is willing to tap into his personal fortune to defeat Trump in the general election even if he does not emerge as the Democratic nominee.

Trump and Bloomberg each are each slated to spend $10 million for 60-second TV ads during next month’s Super Bowl.

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