President expresses surprise at bill’s failure but focuses attacks on ‘obstructionist’ Democrats, pledging ‘something good’ will happen eventually

Donald Trump had a lunch date with uniformed veterans of the Afghanistan war on Tuesday “to find out why we’ve been there 17 years”. On a humid summer day in Washington DC, they sat in the Roosevelt Room, each with a glass of iced tea adorned with lemon wedges, as reporters were ushered in.

Less than 24 hours earlier, the president had been in buoyant form as he toured a pop-up White House exhibition of Made in America products – trying on a cowboy hat, swinging a baseball bat and clambering into the cab of a gleaming fire truck.

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