Donald Trump said in a Fox & Friends interview aired Wednesday morning that the Graham-Cassidy Obamacare repeal bill would have passed before Friday's reconciliation deadline were it not for the hospitalization of Republican Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran:
We have the votes, but reconciliation is a disaster. But as you know, it ends on Friday. So we don't have enough time, because we have one senator who's a "yes" vote — a great person, but he's in the hospital. And he's a "yes" vote. So we can't do it by Friday. So we have the votes.
This is the sixth time, by Washington Post writer Aaron Blake's count, that Trump has claimed the bill would pass if Cochran weren't in the hospital. One reason this isn't true is that Republicans don't have 50 votes for the bill even counting Cochran. Another is that he's not in the hospital. Here's what the senator, whose office says he did recently receive treatment for a urological issue, tweeted Wednesday:
Thanks for the well-wishes. I'm not hospitalized, but am recuperating at home in Mississippi and look forward to returning to work soon.— Senator Thad Cochran (@SenThadCochran) September 27, 2017
His nonhospitalized status was confirmed again Thursday morning:
I just asked Sen Cochran's office again, and they said, again, that he is not in the hospital as Trump continues to say.— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) September 28, 2017
You can click here to watch the classic Monty Python scene about an old man insisting that he has not yet died of the plague. "I'm getting better," he says. "I think I'll go for a walk!" The bad news for Cochran is that the scene ends with the old man getting conked on the head and thrown into a pile of dead bodies.