A Republican Senate lunch on Wednesday devolved into bickering as senators unloaded their anger with President Donald Trump and each other, according to a Politico report.
Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), who has been loose-lipped with his frustration about his party and its leader all week, reportedly took his colleagues to task for whining that Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is blocking amendments to the defense bill, saying that they are using the blockage to dodge having to vote on the amendments themselves.
Per Politico, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) jumped into the fray, berating Corker for his Tuesday Senate floor speech where he mocked his party for being afraid of contradicting the President.
“You don’t care about the Republican Party because you’re leaving,” Graham shot at the retiring Corker.
Graham reportedly later apologized. Corker responded that Graham “would have been applauding” if he’d heard the whole speech.
But Graham still had some gas in his tank during the lunch, next taking on Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and accusing him of fundraising off of a border policy amendment. Lee was reportedly so outraged that he used the word “hell,” a startling cuss from the squeaky-clean mouth of the Mormon senator.
Sen. Joni Ernst had the best spot during the pugnacious lunch: out of the room. “Basically what everybody told me is: Be glad you weren’t there,” Ernst, who was presiding over the Senate during the lunch, told Politico.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) reportedly tried to play down the infighting, saying that “everybody got kind of spirited, but no foul.” When pressed about comments Corker made about him, singling him out as killing the momentum of his tariff proposal, Cornyn waved a white flag.
“That’s just a sign of his own frustration and I really don’t feel the need to get into it,” he told Politico.