Flake urges Republicans to condemn 'vile and offensive' Trump tweets

Flake urges Republicans to condemn 'vile and offensive' Trump tweets
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Former Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeAnti-gun violence organization endorses Kelly's Senate bid Arpaio considering running for former sheriff job after Trump pardon Overnight Energy: Warren edges past Sanders in poll of climate-focused voters | Carbon tax shows new signs of life | Greens fuming at Trump plans for development at Bears Ears monument MORE (R-Ariz.) is urging Republicans to condemn "vile and offensive" tweets from President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch To ward off recession, Trump should keep his mouth and smartphone shut Trump: 'Who is our bigger enemy,' Fed chief or Chinese leader? MORE after the president told four Democratic congresswomen to "go back" to the countries they came from. 
 
Flake didn't directly mention Trump's comments in his tweet, instead arguing on Monday that "this is one of those times" that Republicans have to respond to the president's rhetoric. 
 
"I’ve often said that Republican elected officials can’t be expected to respond to every comment by the President. But there are times when the President's comments are so vile and offensive that it is incumbent on Republicans to respond and condemn. This is one of those times," Flake tweeted. 
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Flake was one of Trump's fiercest critics among Republican lawmakers before he retired at the end of the last Congress, clashing with the president on high-profile topics including immigration policy.
 
He tweeted separately on Sunday about Trump's comments, saying "we're all Americans, Mr. President." 
 
Trump sparked outrage on Sunday when he targeted a group of unidentified progressive congresswomen "who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe."
 
In the tweets, which appeared to be directed at Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezThe Memo: Dangers loom for Trump on immigration Students retreating from politics as campuses become progressive playgrounds Former GOP Rep. Jason Lewis says he'll challenge Tina Smith in Minnesota MORE (D-N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarTrump to return to North Carolina to stump for special election candidate Former GOP Rep. Jason Lewis says he'll challenge Tina Smith in Minnesota Israel should resist Trump's efforts to politicize support MORE (D-Minn.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibMichigan city declines to renew contract with ICE to hold detainees Former GOP Rep. Jason Lewis says he'll challenge Tina Smith in Minnesota Israel should resist Trump's efforts to politicize support MORE (D-Mich.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyFormer GOP Rep. Jason Lewis says he'll challenge Tina Smith in Minnesota Poll: Voters split on whether it's acceptable for Israel to deny Omar, Tlaib visas NJ college censures trustee over posts targeting 'the squad' MORE (D-Mass.), the president suggested they "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came."
 
Trump doubled down on his statement late Sunday, saying it was "sad" to see Democrats sticking up for the four women, who he argued used "disgusting language" and said "many terrible things … about the United States [that] must not be allowed to go unchallenged."
 
The remarks have sparked furious backlash from Democrats.
 

"The House cannot allow the President’s characterization of immigrants to our country to stand. Our Republican colleagues must join us in condemning the President’s xenophobic tweets," Pelosi wrote in a letter to the caucus. 

But Republicans have largely remained silent about the president's remarks, which took place over the weekend while lawmakers were back in their home states.