Trump lashes out against Corker and Flake, touts GOP 'love fest' lunch

President Trump mocked Sens. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., Wednesday morning for acting “so hurt & wounded,” after both delivered striking criticism of Trump a day earlier.

Both GOP lawmakers, who are not running for reelection next year, repeatedly criticized Trump across cable news shows Tuesday and Wednesday morning. In response, Trump claimed that the senators opted to retire because both had “zero chance” of returning to the Senate for another term.

The president also attempted to minimize evidence of a split within his party by insisting a Tuesday lunch with Republican senators “outside of Flake & Corker, was a love fest with standing ovations and great ideas for USA!”

Trump was locked in an increasingly personal back-and-forth with Corker for much of Tuesday morning after Corker said during a TV interview that the White House should let Congress take the lead on tax reform.

The president fired back by saying Corker, who has twice been elected to the U.S. Senate, “couldn’t get elected dog catcher in Tennessee.” Corker announced last month that he would not seek reelection in 2018, but unlike the embattled Flake, it was not clear whether the Tennessee Republican would have faced a serious primary challenge.

Corker then predicted of Trump: “The debasement of our nation will be what he’ll be remembered most for, and that’s regretful.”

Sen. Jeff Flake; President Trump; Sen. Bob Corker. (Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photos: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images)

Later Tuesday, after the lunch “love fest,” Flake suddenly announced that he would not seek reelection in 2018. In a dramatic speech on the Senate floor, Flake called on his colleagues to end “our complicity and our accommodation of the unacceptable.”

Flake reiterated that criticism of Trump in a Washington Post op-ed titled “Enough,” as well as across five different cable news shows Wednesday morning.

“We’ve gotten nine months into the administration,” Flake said on “Good Morning America.” “Those of us who had hoped for a pivot, I think, agree now it’s just not going to come and so it’s up to us to stand up and say this is not acceptable.”

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