Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), a longtime ally of President Donald Trump, pointedly broke with the president this week after Trump formally recognized Moroccan sovereignty in the Western Sahara Desert.
Inhofe, who has long had ties with the West Sahara's Polisario Front liberation movement, was furious that the president gave Morocco formal recognition over its claim to the territory.
"The Sahrawi people have the right to decide their own future," Inhofe wrote. "The president has been poorly advised by his team; he could have made this deal without trading the rights of a voiceless people."
As Axios reports, Trump decided to pull the trigger on the Morocco deal when Inhofe failed to deliver on two of his top priorities: Repealing Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and blocking the renaming of military bases named after Confederate generals.
"Inhofe rejected both demands and... the two had a difficult phone call in which Inhofe leveled with Trump and said: 'This is the only chance to get our bill passed,'" the publication writes. "An angry Trump went to his Twitter account to hit back at Inhofe, claiming his position would harm U.S. national security and election integrity and reiterating his threat to veto the bill."
Trump aides in favor of the Morocco deal, including son-in-law Jared Kushner and chief of staff Mark Meadows, saw this rift as an opening to get the president to sign on after years of lobbying.