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- President Donald Trump tweeted that Sens. Bob Corker and Jeff Flake decided against reelection bids not because they disliked him but because they had “zero chance” of winning. Corker and Flake, two Republicans, have come out strong against Trump recently. Trump still enjoys broad support from the Republican-controlled Senate.
President Donald Trump tweeted on Wednesday morning that the outgoing Sens. Bob Corker and Jeff Flake were leaving Congress not because they opposed his agenda but because they had “zero chance” of reelection.
“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.
Both Republican senators have come out against Trump lately – criticizing his statements and handling of policy and the larger movement he represents.
Flake gave a speech Tuesday on the Senate floor announcing that he would not seek reelection, framing the decision as a way of saying “enough” to a president he saw as “reckless, outrageous, and undignified.”
Corker, who in late September announced he would not seek reelection, previously attacked the president by saying the White House had become an “adult daycare center.”
In a separate tweet, Trump called a meeting he had with Republican senators on Tuesday “a love fest with standing ovations and great ideas” outside Corker and Flake.
“We gave [Trump] three standing ovations, we appreciated him being there, and we had meatloaf,” Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana said of the meeting.
The president took another shot at Flake later Wednesday morning, after the senator said on CNN that he expected more Republicans to speak out against the president.
“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 tweeted.
Flake, Corker, and Sen. John McCain have been perhaps the most frequent Republican critics of Trump, but he actually does enjoy strong support from the Republican majority in the Senate at least from a policy perspective. Some critics have pointed to the fact that Flake, who said in stepping down that he would not be “complicit” in promoting Trump’s platform, has voted in alignment with Trump more than 90% of the time.