Republican Senator Lindsey Graham issued a blistering statement in response to President Trump’s tweets about him on Thursday morning, telling the president directly to “fix this.”
“Mr. President, like most I seek to move our nation, my state, and our party forward
“However, because of the manner in which you have handled the Charlottesville tragedy you are now receiving praise from some of the most racist and hate-filled individuals and groups in our country. For the sake of our Nation — as our President — please fix this. History is watching us all.”
Trump had earlier taken a swipe at a pair of fellow Republicans, calling Graham a ‘‘publicity seeking’’ lawmaker and Senator Jeff Flake “toxic.”
In a daybreak post on his Twitter account Thursday, Trump faulted Graham for statements the senator made about the president’s stance on the violence and death of a woman in Charlottesville, Va.
Publicity seeking Lindsey Graham falsely stated that I said there is moral equivalency between the KKK, neo-Nazis & white supremacists......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2017
He was referring to Heather Heyer, the woman who was killed when she was struck by a car driven into the crowd.
...and people like Ms. Heyer. Such a disgusting lie. He just can't forget his election trouncing.The people of South Carolina will remember!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2017
In a separate tweet, Trump accused ‘‘the Fake News’’ of distorting ‘‘what I say about hate, bigotry, etc. Shame!’’
Trump then touted the primary opponent who is looking to unseat GOP Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, who has criticized the president’s response to Charlottesville.
Trump tweeted that Flake ‘‘is WEAK on borders, crime and a non-factor in Senate. He’s toxic!’’ The president has already pledged to spend money to defeat the first-term senator.
Flake is facing a GOP primary challenge, including from former state senator Kelli Ward. ‘‘Great to see that Dr. Kelli Ward is running against Flake,’’ Trump tweeted.
Flake had tweeted on Wednesday, ‘‘We can’t claim to be the party of Lincoln if we equivocate in condemning white supremacy.’’
The first-term senator has also recently released a book criticizing Trump and fellow Republicans for straying from what he called conservative values.