fighting-words

Flake Brushes off Trump’s Criticism as President Lands in His Backyard
Trump often critical of Arizona senator, who faces tough re-election challenge from both sides

en. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., is trying not to sweat President Donald Trump's criticisms of him. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Despite Donald Trump’s disparaging comments about him, Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake said he isn’t sweating the president’s visit to Phoenix on Tuesday. 

“I don’t worry about it at all,” Flake said at an event Monday in the Phoenix suburbs, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Will GOP Divergence From Trump Over White Supremacist Comments Last?
Fissure unlikely to lead to a larger GOP break from president

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan has often disagreed with some of the things President Donald Trump has said but is expected to continue working with him in the interests of the GOP's legislative agenda. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Each time President Donald Trump makes an inflammatory comment, on the campaign trail or in the White House, it feels like what could be a breaking point for Republicans. But it never is.

With Trump doubling down on his comments effectively defending some white supremacists on Tuesday, could this be it?

Elaine Chao: ‘I Stand By My Man. Both of Them.’
Transportation secretary stays neutral in boss-husband feud

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao gives her “man” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a kiss after he introduced her during her confirmation hearing in January. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao weighed in Tuesday on President Donald Trump’s feud with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell using unexpected choice words:

“I stand by my man. Both of them,” she said.

McCain’s Office Slams Wisconsin Republican for Tumor Remarks
Ron Johnson hinted at reasons for McCain’s health care vote

The office of Arizona Sen. John McCain, center, criticized Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, right, for implying McCain’s brain cancer might have affected his health care vote. Also seen, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. John McCain’s office is hitting back at Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson for suggesting that McCain’s brain tumor influenced his recent health care vote.

Johnson made the remarks speaking on talk radio in Chicago, as reported by CNN.

Hannity Fixes Crosshairs on McConnell
Fox News commentator calls majority leader ‘weak’ and ‘spineless’

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is catching heat from conservative media for his recent remarks on President Donald Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As President Donald Trump and North Korean premier Kim Jong-un threatened each other with nuclear war on Tuesday, the Twitter war between conservative pundits and Republican lawmakers continued to boil.

Sean Hannity pulled up the app early Wednesday to batter Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for the Kentucky Republican’s negative remarks about how Trump’s political inexperience hurts the public perception of the GOP-controlled Congress.

Trump Implies Nuclear Strike on North Korea is Possible
Meantime, Tillerson tries to cool tensions in the region

People at a railway station in Seoul, South Korea watch a television showing President Donald Trump on Wednesday. Trump issued an apocalyptic warning to North Korea on Tuesday, saying it faces "fire and fury" over its missile program. (JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump issued an implicit warning to North Korea Wednesday morning, tweeting the U.S. nuclear arsenal is “far stronger and more powerful” than it ever has been.

A day after warning the United States would hit the North with “fire and fury” if Pyongyang repeated threats that it would strike American targets, Trump took to Twitter and appeared to signal he is prepared to use nuclear weapons against North Korea if conflict breaks out.

Trump Makes Russia Sanctions Law, Then Savages Congress
President takes swipe at Senate Republicans after signing bipartisan bill

Despite his calls for warmer relations with the Kremlin, President Trump on Wednesday signed a bill slapping new sanctions on Russia. It also puts new penalties on North Korea and Iran. (Wikimedia Commons)

President Donald Trump signed bipartisan legislation slapping new sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea — then harshly criticized the legislation and the 517 lawmakers who voted for it.

Trump’s words reveal anew his growing irritation at Republican lawmakers’ inability to pass legislation he prefers and Democrats’ unwillingness to help. A statement issued by the White House after he signed the sanctions bill includes this line: “Congress could not even negotiate a healthcare bill after seven years of talking.”

Protesters Hold a Mock Duel With Farenthold
Comes after he implied he wanted to challenge senators to a duel

Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, told protesters that he had a prior commitment and couldn’t attend Sunday’s event. (Bill Clark/Roll Call file photo)

Protesters showed up to Texas Rep. Blake Farenthold’s office in Corpus Christi to take him up on his offer last week to challenge women senators to a duel.

Last week, Farenthold told radio station KEYS it was “absolutely repugnant” that “some female senators from the Northeast” were holding up Republican attempts to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law.

McCain’s Many Parts in Getting to ‘No’ on Health Care
Hero, then goat to his Senate GOP colleagues. But did the maverick actually bridge their gap?

Arizona Sen. John McCain speaks at a news conference Thursday on the Senate Republicans’ “skinny” repeal bill. His later vote against the measure helped defeat the legislation. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Very rare is the senator with the singular sway to play the scold, the savior, the spoiler, the sacrificial offering and the spurned playmaker for his own party — and all within a spurt of fewer than 60 hours. But that was how this week played out for John McCain.

He may have had other, similar stretches during his three decades working to hold the title of the Senate’s main maverick. But for the indefinite future, he’s not going to have another one nearly as baroque, with so many highs and lows in so short a stretch that delighted, confounded, openly infuriated but secretively satisfied fellow Republicans.

Collins Caught on Hot Mic About Farenthold: ‘He’s So Unattractive, It’s Unbelievable’
Maine senator was responding to Texas congressman’s ‘Aaron Burr’ remark

Maine Sen. Susan Collins was overheard calling out a congressman who challenged her to a duel. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Maine Sen. Susan Collins inadvertently responded to Texas Rep. Blake Farenthold’s allegorical challenge to a duel.

During the end of a hearing at the Senate Appropriations Committee, Collins was observed talking about Farenthold, a fellow Republican, with an unidentified male senator, identified by other media outlets as Rhode Island Democrat Jack Reed.