Full transcript: Jeff Flake’s speech from the Senate floor.
Politico reports: Just hours after publicly trading insults with a key GOP senator, President Donald Trump kept to the script and held a “productive,” hour-long meeting with Senate Republicans, according to several senators.
Trump outlined at length his accomplishments since taking office, and then asked for Senate Republicans to help him push through a major tax-reform package. The assembled GOP senators responded to Trump’s appearance with three standing ovations.
While the “feel good” moment only papered over serious divisions in the party — both personal and policy — Senate Republicans were hopeful that it signaled a chance to cooperate with Trump on taxes, which many rank-and-file lawmakers consider critical to keeping their majorities on Capitol Hill.
Yet soon after the meeting ended, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) made a stunning announcement that he would not run for reelection, quickly diverting attention from what had been a hopeful moment for Trump and Senate Republicans. [Continue reading…]