US President Donald Trump has hit back at critical senators in Congress within his own Republican Party, painting them as outliers.
Trump made the comments on Wednesday hours after meeting Republican senators on Capitol Hill, which he described as a “love fest” between him and allied lawmakers.
A day after Republican senators Bob Corker and Jeff Flake condemned Trump for “debasing” the nation and having a “flagrant disregard” for truth and decency, the combative president hit back.
Attempting to prevent a wider backlash from his political party, Trump said that Corker and Flake had decided to leave politics because they could not be reelected to the Senate.
“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!” Trump tweeted.
“The meeting with Republican Senators yesterday, outside of Flake and Corker, was a love fest with standing ovations and great ideas for USA!” he continued.
Flake had told The Arizona Republic on Tuesday that he doesn’t see a place for himself in the current Republican Party under Trump’s leadership.
“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!” Trump shot back.
“The meeting with Republican Senators yesterday, outside of Flake and Corker, was a love fest with standing ovations and great ideas for USA!” Trump continued, this time adding senator Bob Corker to his attack list.
Corker, who represents the state of Tennessee and chairs the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has emerged as an outspoken critic of the president.
The ongoing public dispute between Trump and Corker escalated Tuesday after Trump attacked Corker for his skepticism over a $1.5 trillion tax cut and the senator responding by slamming the president as an “utterly untruthful” leader who “debases” his country.
Earlier this month, Corker condemned Trump for undermining Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, saying the president’s public statements on foreign policy “castrate” his top diplomat and creates “binary” scenarios for the US on the world stage.