Trump Lashes Out at Two Republican Senators in Early Morning Rant

He also appeared to endorse Sen. Jeff Flake’s primary challenger.

In a series of angry tweets Thursday morning, President Donald Trump took aim at two sitting Republican senators, first attacking Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who had earlier criticized the president’s Charlottesville response, and then knocking “toxic” Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and appearing to endorse his Republican primary challenger.

Both senators have publicly called on Trump to issue a more emphatic statement rejecting white nationalism amid the continuing backlash over his equivocal response to the clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia.

After initially claiming “many sides” were responsible for the violence on Saturday, Trump did eventually denounce hate groups and racism two days later. By Tuesday, however, Trump swiftly retreated from those statements with an explosive press conference that all but defended the white nationalist groups who were protesting the removal of a Confederate memorial honoring Robert E. Lee.

In attacking Graham on Thursday, Trump falsely claimed that he never equated white supremacists with counter-protesters. 

“I am not putting anybody on a moral plane,” he said during Tuesday’s chaotic press conference. “You had a group on one side and the other and they came at each other with clubs and it was vicious and horrible.”

Trump continued, “There was a group on this side, you can call them the left, you have just called them the left, that came violently attacking the other group. You can say what you want. That’s the way it is.”

Amid the intense backlash, Ward has echoed Trump’s sentiments. She also retweeted a sarcastic message asking for someone to compile a thorough list of all hate groups for Trump to disavow:

Trump is scheduled to travel to Phoenix for a rally next Tuesday. In 2016, Ward lost a primary bid against Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). 

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.