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Politics

Watch: White House press secretary Sanders briefs media following Jeff Flake's shocking announcement

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White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders briefed reporters on Tuesday afternoon, following the surprise announcement by Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, R, that he would not be seeking reelection, and would retire when his term ends in January.

In a dramatic speech on the Senate floor, Flake issued a stinging rebuke to the president.

"I rise today to say, 'enough.'" he said. "We must dedicate ourselves to making sure that the anomalous never becomes the normal."

Flake has long been an outspoken critic of Trump, but his decision to retire, and his floor speech, stunned Washington. "I have children & grandchildren to answer to, and so I will not be complicit or silent," Flake said.

Flake's announcement came on the heels of a morning during which President Donald Trump engaged in a bitter war of words with another Republican senator, Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn.

Corker has expressed a desire to see the tax reform bill passed using the traditional committee process, instead of a fast-tracking parliamentary procedure known as "reconciliation." Corker said this again in an interview Tuesday morning, prompting a flurry of tweets from the president.

A few minutes later, Corker responded in kind:

Prompting yet another tweet from Trump:

Walking through the basement of the Capitol later in the morning, Corker unloaded on the president, saying the president "lacks the desire to be competent" and "his government model is to divide and to attempt to bully and to use untruths."

"I think at the end of the day when his term is over, I think the debasing of our nation, the constant non-truth telling, just the name calling, will be what he'll be remembered most for, and that's regretful, and affects young people," Corker told CNN's Manu Raju. "We have young people who, for the first time, are watching a president stating, you know, absolute non-truths nonstop, personalizing things in the way that he does, and it's very sad for our nation."

Trump, naturally, responded on Twitter.

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