Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeMcSally campaign to suspend TV ads, canvassing amid pandemic Coronavirus isn't the only reason Congress should spend less time in DC Trump Jr. says he inherited 'Tourette's of the thumbs' from his father MORE (R-Ariz.) on Wednesday responded to a tweet from President Trump after the president attacked Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerHealth care workers account for 20 percent of Iowa coronavirus cases Pressure mounts on Congress for quick action with next coronavirus bill Schumer names coronavirus czar candidates in plea to White House MORE (D-N.Y.) on immigration and referenced Tuesday's terrorist attack in New York City.

Flake responded to Trump's assertion that a "Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerHealth care workers account for 20 percent of Iowa coronavirus cases Pressure mounts on Congress for quick action with next coronavirus bill Schumer names coronavirus czar candidates in plea to White House MORE beauty," the Diversity Visa Lottery Program, allowed 29-year-old suspect Sayfullo Saipov to enter the country by reminding Trump that the 2013 "Gang of Eight" immigration reforms, written in part by Schumer, actually would have eliminated the program.

ADVERTISEMENT

"The terrorist came into our country through what is called the 'Diversity Visa Lottery Program,' a Chuck Schumer beauty," Trump tweeted early Tuesday. "I want merit based."

"Actually, the Gang of 8, including @SenSchumer, did away with the Diversity Visa Program as part of broader reforms. I know, I was there," Flake tweeted at Trump in response.

The "Gang of Eight" was a bipartisan group of senators who wrote a 2013 immigration reform bill that passed the Senate with support from every Democrat and many Republicans. The bill, however, never made it to President Obama's desk as then-Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerMeadows joins White House in crisis mode Meadows set to resign from Congress as he moves to White House The Pelosi administration MORE (R-Ohio) didn't bring the bill to a vote in the lower chamber. 

Flake has been an outspoken critic of Trump after denouncing the president in a fiery speech on the Senate floor earlier this month. In a follow-up interview with The Washington Post, Flake said he "couldn't sleep at night" supporting the president any longer.

“I couldn’t sleep at night having to embrace the president or condoning his behavior or being OK with some of his positions,” Flake told the Post.