Michael King: By standing by Trump, Republicans like Denham neuter themselves

In a daybreak post on his Twitter account Thursday, Trump faulted the GOP senator for statements Graham has made about the president's stance on the violence and death of a woman in Charlottesville, Virginia.

One after another, the nation's most powerful Republicans responded to President Donald Trump's extraordinary remarks about white supremacists.

Thursday (8/17) morning the President tweeted, "Publicity seeking Lindsey Graham falsely stated that I said there is moral equivalency between the KKK, Neo-Nazis and white supremacists and people like Ms. Heyer. He just can't forget his election trouncing.The people of SC will remember!"

Trump has faced bipartisan criticism for his back-and-forth comments on Charlottesville, both decrying white supremacist groups and then on Tuesday backtracking by placing blame on liberal groups in addition to white nationalists.

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said Tuesday, "We can not accept excuses for white supremacy and acts of domestic terrorism".

A top Democratic-aligned group released a 30-second digital video ad and a almost 50-page report on the supposed links between white nationalists and President Donald Trump's administration.

Graham, a prominent member of the Armed Services Committee, issued the statement ahead of Trump's planned briefing at Camp David from the National Security Council.

Trump then invoked Heyer's name to remind Graham, an opponent to Trump in the 2016 Republican primary race, that he won the senator's home state of SC. Trump initially condemned violence on "many sides" on Saturday after a man believed to have ties to neo-Nazi groups drove his auto into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring some 20 others.

Contributor Willie Geist explained that Trump's attacks against Senate Republicans aren't strategic and are only emotional responses to feeling "slighted" by them.

Flake had tweeted on Wednesday, "We can't claim to be the party of Lincoln if we equivocate in condemning white supremacy". "I, along with many others, do not endorse this moral equivalency". "History is watching us all", Graham tweeted.

Trump also blasted Flake, one of the few Republicans openly critical of the president.

Trump hit back at another favorite target as well, the media: "The public is learning (even more so) how dishonest the Fake News is".