At least two Republican senators criticized President Donald Trump and revealed a Republican Party at war with itself. Jeff Flake declared he would not be complicit with Trump and announced his retirement, and Bob Corker, who’s also retiring at the end of his term, said that Trump debased the nation with constant untruths and name-calling, Associated Press reports.
Some officials say that this is a victory for Trump’s movement and the president boasted that he had played a role in forcing Flake and Corker out. Flake challenged his fellow senators to do the thing he did, but that seemed impossible. Flake delivered an emotional speech and he analyzed what he considered his party’s accommodations with Trump and added that he could no longer play a role in them.
“We were not made great as a country by indulging in or even exalting our worst impulses, turning against ourselves, glorifying in the things that divide us and calling fake things true and true things fake,” Flake said.
Previously, Corker also criticized Trump.
“I think the debasement of our nation will be what he’ll be remembered most for and that’s regretful,” Corker said.
In the meantime, Trump used his Twitter account to call Corker incompetent and to say he didn’t have a clue.
“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… People like liddle’ Bob Corker have set the U.S. way back. Now we move forward!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Unnamed White House official and an outside adviser confirmed that behind the cameras Trump took credit for helping the departures of the senators.
Until Tuesday, Flake insisted that he had no plans to retire, but the opposite happened.
“It is clear at this moment that a traditional conservative who believes in limited government and free markets, who is devoted to free trade, who is pro-immigration, has a narrower and narrower path to nomination in the Republican Party,” Flake said.
According to Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, it is counterproductive when Republicans are battling among themselves.