“A wise man once said that healthcare is complicated. And of course, that wise man was quoting President Trump.”
Appearing Tuesday on ABC News’ “Powerhouse Politics” podcast, Sen. Al Franken didn’t pull any punches during a wide-ranging interview that covered health care, the special counsel’s investigation and his potential political ambitions. “This is a sham,” said the Minnesota Democrat, in regards to Senate Republicans’ attempts to pass their version of the American Health Care Act. “It’s not just Democrats that haven’t seen this. Most Republicans haven’t seen it either.”
Ever the comedian, the former “Saturday Night Live” cast member then jabbed President Trump and House Republicans for their post-AHCA passage celebration in the White House Rose Garden last month, calling it, sardonically, the “unprecedented celebrating of one house passing a bill.”
While Franken has always embraced humor, he has been reluctant to reveal his funny side in the Senate. But after he secured re-election by a big margin, jokes worked themselves back into his repertoire. “So now I’m a workhorse, but I’m a workhorse that allows myself to be funny too,” Franken said.
Regarding the ongoing investigations into alleged Russian collusion with the Trump campaign, Franken said “All the Trump people are acting in a way that — they aren’t acting like people who have nothing to hide.”
Not resisting a joke, he added, “There are some very suspicious things there and we may get to the point where we’re asking what did the President know, and when did his son-in-law tell him?”
Franken’s name has been (seriously) floated as a potential challenger for the presidency in 2020. But when asked on Tuesday to respond to speculation in Washington fashion, the Senator shot down rumors.
In the cliché answer -– the senator displayed classic Washington-speak, “Right now, what I am doing and what I enjoy doing more than anything in the world is serving the people of my state. And I can’t even think about what’s going on that far into the future, but I certainly have no intention, no plans to run. Yeah, I have no plans.”
“Scratch the intention thing,” said Franken. “I didn’t know what I was saying. I have no plans to run for president in 2020,” said Franken.
Then, when given the opportunity to provide a more honest assessment of his political future, Franken laughed and said, “I don’t want to be president. It looks like it’s too much work, it’s too hard. I’ve seen what the presidency is from a little closer than I thought I’d ever see it when I was a comedian. And it is an incredibly demanding job.”
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