White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders responded to a dramatic day in the Senate – a day on which two Republican senators publicly defied President Donald Trump.
The daily White House briefing began minutes after Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona announced his decision to retire from the Senate rather than seek re-election, prompting several reporters to question the direction of the Republican party. The day began with Sen. Bob Corker publicly challenging the president, prompting a Twitter feud with Trump.
“Look, you’ve got an individual in the president, he’s a fighter. We’ve said it many times before,” Sanders said. “The people of this country didn’t elect somebody to be weak, they elected somebody to be strong.”
She added that both Flake and Corker had fired off “petty comments” about the president when he was just trying to get important agenda items such as tax reform passed in Congress.
Sanders reminded reporters that Trump did not allow criticisms to go unanswered.
“When he gets hit, he’s going to hit back,” she said.
After one reporter asked Sanders if the president felt he was winning, despite public criticism from Senators Jeff Flake and Bob Corker about his presidency, she replied, “I think he feels like America is winning.”
She specifically addressed Flake’s decision to retire, saying that it was “probably a good move” based on the response from voters in Arizona.
Sanders stressed that the president continues to have a good working relationship with Republican senators, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
She told Breitbart News that the president has confidence in McConnell’s ability to hold the Senate majority together.
“He thinks that we’re going to work together with Republican senators, particularly Leader McConnell, to get tax cuts and tax reform done this year,” she replied.