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Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake calls out Trump on trade

Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake hit Donald Trump on trade Thursday, slamming the President for "acting on a whi...

Posted: Jun 7, 2018 6:54 PM
Updated: Jun 7, 2018 6:54 PM

Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake hit Donald Trump on trade Thursday, slamming the President for "acting on a whim to punish this country or that one," through trade tariffs.

"The Constitution gives Congress the primary role in regulating trade, and certainly tariffs, not the President," Flake told CNN's Brianna Keilar. "So, the President is using an exemption that was never intended for that purpose."

Flake joined Senate Foreign Relations Chair Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican, and a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday sponsoring legislation that would require lawmakers to approve movement on trade from the White House on the basis of national security, stymieing the administration's tariffs on Canadian steel.

"This is the first time that a number of senators have actually stood up, a number of Senators from the President's party and said, 'No, you can't do that, and we're going to pass legislation to rein this in,'" Flake said. "And so that is our prerogative, that's what we should be doing, that's what we should have been doing sooner than now."

Corker's bill has faced significant pushback - CNN reported Trump called Corker Wednesday, encouraging the retiring senator to back off legislation in a "lengthy" call, while Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed his own antipathy, telling SiriusXM's Olivier Knox, "I don't think we need to be trying to rein in the President through legislation."

But Flake was optimistic Thursday, telling CNN, "We'll see. We have (the National Defense Authorization Act) bill coming up. Ever senator has significant leverage, because you have to have unanimous consent to move ahead to consider the bill," suggesting the action on trade could be attached as an amendment to the NDAA.

Flake's confidence seemed to rile the President, who tweeted shortly following Flake's interview, "How could Jeff Flake, who is setting record low polling numbers in Arizona and was therefore humiliatingly forced out of his own Senate seat without even a fight (and who doesn't have a clue), think about running for office, even a lower one, again? Let's face it, he's a Flake!"

Flake, for his part, pointed to the bill's bipartisan cosponsors, saying "I think there are about a dozen senators, some of whom are up for reelection this time or certainly will be in 2020 or who are standing up and saying, 'We are asserting our congressional prerogative.'"

When asked on Capitol Hill later for his response to Trump's tweet, Flake said he had "no reaction."

"I've said many times, this is a tough party right now for a Republican like me," Flake told CNN. "So, it is tough to get through a primary, if you agree with the President's positions or condone his behavior. So, I just can't do that."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 97049

Reported Deaths: 2921
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7151160
DeSoto565061
Harrison388874
Jackson352770
Madison331489
Rankin331179
Lee276470
Forrest250976
Jones250479
Washington225977
Lafayette219840
Lauderdale2065125
Bolivar184966
Oktibbeha180252
Lamar172836
Lowndes158158
Neshoba1581104
Panola151031
Sunflower148046
Leflore141781
Warren140950
Pontotoc128216
Pike124251
Monroe123969
Copiah119333
Scott117627
Coahoma116329
Marshall111517
Lincoln111453
Holmes110059
Grenada109536
Yazoo106230
Simpson104846
Tate101138
Union99924
Leake96238
Adams94337
Wayne90821
Pearl River89653
Marion86935
Prentiss86517
Itawamba83521
Alcorn82711
Covington82723
George78313
Tallahatchie77621
Newton77324
Winston74219
Tishomingo69438
Chickasaw68524
Tippah67317
Attala67125
Clarke60346
Walthall60226
Clay59818
Hancock59022
Jasper57815
Noxubee55516
Smith53815
Calhoun52412
Tunica49915
Claiborne46516
Montgomery46520
Yalobusha43714
Lawrence43313
Perry42419
Greene38617
Quitman3805
Humphreys37815
Stone37612
Jefferson Davis34211
Webster33813
Amite33510
Carroll32112
Wilkinson30518
Kemper29015
Sharkey26613
Jefferson2439
Benton2293
Franklin1933
Choctaw1866
Issaquena1053
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 136055

Reported Deaths: 2364
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19833350
Mobile13471292
Montgomery8865184
Tuscaloosa8744118
Madison797878
Shelby604349
Lee594560
Baldwin558850
Marshall396743
Calhoun354844
Etowah354045
Morgan332728
Houston293521
Elmore269148
DeKalb243521
St. Clair234036
Walker233084
Talladega217729
Limestone213520
Cullman191120
Dallas179326
Franklin179029
Autauga178525
Russell17653
Lauderdale174033
Colbert167526
Blount161815
Escambia161424
Chilton159330
Jackson158911
Covington140327
Dale139944
Coffee13656
Pike120510
Chambers117242
Tallapoosa116685
Clarke110416
Marion97129
Butler91439
Barbour8867
Winston74512
Marengo72620
Pickens66814
Randolph66013
Bibb65710
Lowndes65727
Hale64928
Geneva6384
Lawrence62823
Cherokee61413
Bullock60714
Clay5928
Monroe5908
Washington56113
Crenshaw54232
Perry5426
Conecuh53711
Wilcox53211
Henry5085
Macon48318
Fayette4678
Sumter43819
Cleburne3895
Lamar3772
Choctaw35112
Greene30315
Coosa1723
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