Graham to Corker: 'You don't care about the Republican Party because you're leaving'
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Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSaudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP Suspects in journalist's disappearance linked to Saudi crown prince: report Overnight Defense: Trump worries Saudi Arabia treated as 'guilty until proven innocent' | McConnell opens door to sanctions | Joint Chiefs chair to meet Saudi counterpart | Mattis says Trump backs him '100 percent' MORE (R-S.C.) said Wednesday that his colleague Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerSaudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP Dem Senator: Congress will act on death of Saudi journalist Democrats torch Trump for floating 'rogue killers' to blame for missing journalist MORE (R-Tenn.) doesn’t care about the Republican Party because he’s retiring.

"You don't care about the Republican Party because you're leaving," Graham told Corker during a private GOP lunch, according to Politico

Graham’s remarks followed a tense party meeting in which frustrations spilled over among Senate Republicans.


Corker, prior to the meeting, rankled members — like Graham — after comparing GOP leadership's relationship with Trump to a "cult-like situation" while speaking to reporters.

Leaving the closed-door meeting, Graham said "the whole cult thing" came up behind closed doors.

“The reason I know we’re not a cult, you got to be organized," Graham reportedly joked. "I don’t think we’ll ever qualify as a cult."

Unnamed Republicans told the publication that Graham apologized to Corker later in the evening.

In response, Corker reportedly told Graham, "If you had heard the whole speech you would have been applauding."

Tensions have flared within the party over a standoff concerning a massive, must-pass defense policy bill. 

The debate is centered on a proposal from Corker to require congressional approval if the president wants to apply tariffs in the name of national security, as he did late last month.

GOP senators have blocked fellow party members from being able to get a vote on amendments to the bill.

Though Corker has not blocked Republican colleagues from getting votes — and he has acknowledged that he will not get a vote on his bill as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) — he is publicly taking jabs at his colleagues for blocking his tariff proposal.