- During Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake’s dramatic Tuesday announcement that he will not seek reelection, the Republican lawmaker called on his colleagues to stand up to President Donald Trump.
- On Wednesday, Flake said he believes “a lot more” of his GOP colleagues will begin to speak out against the president’s politics and behavior.
- Trump responded, insisting that the vast majority of Republicans are pleased with his leadership.
Sen. Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican who announced that he will not run for reelection in 2018 and delivered a searing indictment of President Donald Trump on the Senate floor on Tuesday, said that many more of his Republican colleagues will begin to speak out against the president.
“I will not be complicit,” Flake said during his 17-minute speech, in which he called the president “reckless, outrageous, and undignified” and warned that failing to stand up to Trump could spell disaster for the GOP and the nation.
During an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Wednesday, host George Stephanopoulos asked Flake whether he is accusing his fellow Republican lawmakers of condoning the president’s behavior by not speaking out.
Flake insisted that many of his colleagues have or will begin to challenge Trump.
“A lot of my colleagues have spoken out and I think a lot more will,” Flake said.
He added that the sooner they begin to challenge the president, the better.
“What I tried to say in the speech is the longer we wait the more we basically normalize this kind of behavior and these kind of politics and we can’t do that,” Flake said.
Later on Wednesday morning, Trump responded to Flake’s comment, tweeting that he received a standing ovation from Republican senators during a meeting on Capitol Hill on Tuesday afternoon.
“Jeff Flake, with an 18% approval rating in Arizona, said ‘a lot of my colleagues have spoken out.’ Really, they just gave me a standing O!” Trump wrote.
In a previous tweet, the president called the Senate gathering, which was purportedly a discussion about tax reform, a “love fest with standing ovations and great ideas for USA!”
In his Wednesday morning interview, Flake again declined to rule out a possible presidential run in 2020.
Flake has long been critical of the president, refusing to endorse him in 2016, and he published a book earlier this year, “Conscience of a Conservative,” in which he excoriated Trump’s “destructive politics.”
Watch the clip below:
“The longer we wait, the more we basically normalize this kind of behavior… we can’t do that.” – Sen. Flake on President Trump pic.twitter.com/2vmWw2DNmi
— Good Morning America (@GMA) October 25, 2017