GOP Sen Thune: Republicans Should Keep Trump Criticisms ‘Within the Family’

In an appearance Friday on NPR’s “Morning Edition,” Sen. John Thune (R-SD), the chairman of the U.S. Senate Republican Conference, was asked to react to his colleagues Sens. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Bob Corker (R-TN) openly criticizing President Donald Trump.

Both Corker and Flake have announced they will not be seeking re-election in 2018 and have not shown any restraint offering their views on Trump in public settings since that announcement.

Thune, however, said it would have been “better” to keep those disagreements “within the family.”

Partial transcript as follows:

GREENE: Are you worried, though, that the Republican agenda could actually suffer and be imperiled if you continue to have Republican colleagues who are deeply concerned about the president and make that known and cause these kinds of rifts?

THUNE: I think that there are always going to be differences of opinion and disagreements, and that’s true in any family. But I just think it’s better, if you can, keep those in-the-family feuds and fights within the family.

GREENE: You’re saying Senator Flake and Senator Bob Corker should have kept their concerns to themselves?

THUNE: No, I just think that it would have been better if, you know, either sides in some of these disputes, if they would just have those conversations in private rather than having them in public. Senator Corker has strongly held views, as did Senator Flake. You know, both, of course, are now leaving the Senate. But those of us who are still here, I think, have a responsibility to do the best job we can to try and get results.

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