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.).