President Donald Trump fired back with a series of tweets early this morning after outgoing Republican senators Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Bob Corker (R-TN) questioned his fitness for office. The president characterized Flake and Corker as outsiders within the GOP with “zero chance” of re-election.
The president's tweets are as follows:
The reason Flake and Corker dropped out of the Senate race is very simple, they had zero chance of being elected. Now act so hurt & wounded!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1508930856.0
The meeting with Republican Senators yesterday, outside of Flake and Corker, was a love fest with standing ovations and great ideas for USA!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1508931036.0
Jeff Flake, with an 18% approval rating in Arizona, said "a lot of my colleagues have spoken out." Really, they just gave me a standing O!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1508934810.0
The president issued his response after Senator Flake called his conduct "dangerous to our democracy" and urged his fellow legislators to denounce the president's behavior during an emotional speech on the Senate floor in which he announced his decision not to seek re-election.
“We must never regard as normal the regular and casual undermining of our democratic norms and ideals,” Flake said. “We must never meekly accept the daily sundering of our country — the personal attacks; the threats against principles, freedoms and institutions; the flagrant disregard for truth and decency.”
Flake added: “We must stop pretending that the degradation of our politics and the conduct of some in our executive branch are normal. They are not normal. Reckless, outrageous and undignified behavior has become excused and countenanced as ‘telling it like it is’ when it is actually just reckless, outrageous and undignified.”
In an op-ed for The Washington Post, Flake leveled even more criticisms:
There is a sickness in our system — and it is contagious.
How many more disgraceful public feuds with Gold Star families can we witness in silence before we ourselves are disgraced?
How many more times will we see moral ambiguity in the face of shocking bigotry and shrug it off?
How many more childish insults do we need to see hurled at a hostile foreign power before we acknowledge the senseless danger of it?
How much more damage to our democracy and to the institutions of American liberty do we need to witness in silence before we count ourselves as complicit in that damage?
Nine months of this administration is enough for us to stop pretending that this is somehow normal, and that we are on the verge of some sort of pivot to governing, to stability. Nine months is more than enough for us to say, loudly and clearly: Enough.
The outcome of this is in our hands. We can no longer remain silent, merely observing this train wreck, passively, as if waiting for someone else to do something. The longer we wait, the greater the damage, the harsher the judgment of history.
Meanwhile, Trump's disdain for Senator Corker seemed to grow even more personal.
Trump's attacks began early yesterday morning, claiming that Corker was not even fit to be an "elected dog catcher."
The president continued a feud which began two weeks ago when he claimed Corker only decided to not seek re-election after he declined to give Corker his endorsement. Corker told reporters that it had actually been Trump who offered the endorsement. Corker called the White House an "adult day care center" in a tweet and suggested someone had "missed their shift." In his tweets yesterday, the president doubled down on his lie:
Bob Corker, who helped President O give us the bad Iran Deal & couldn't get elected dog catcher in Tennessee, is now fighting Tax Cuts....— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1508847239.0
...Corker dropped out of the race in Tennesse when I refused to endorse him, and now is only negative on anything Trump. Look at his record!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1508847635.0
Isn't it sad that lightweight Senator Bob Corker, who couldn't get re-elected in the Great State of Tennessee, will now fight Tax Cuts plus!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1508851821.0
Sen. Corker is the incompetent head of the Foreign Relations Committee, & look how poorly the U.S. has done. He doesn't have a clue as.....— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1508854428.0
...the entire World WAS laughing and taking advantage of us. People like liddle' Bob Corker have set the U.S. way back. Now we move forward!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1508854846.0
"Nothing that he said in his tweets today were truthful or accurate," Corker told CNN's Manu Raju later. "And he knows that... Everything he said today was absolutely untrue." He added: "The president, uh, has great difficulty with the truth on many issues. Unfortunately, I think world leaders are very aware that much of what [Trump] says is untrue. Certainly people here are, because these things are provably untrue. I mean, they're just factually incorrect."
He also issued the following response:
Same untruths from an utterly untruthful president. #AlertTheDaycareStaff— Senator Bob Corker (@Senator Bob Corker)1508849328.0