Trump Hits Back At Jeff Flake, Brags About ‘Standing Ovations’ At GOP Lunch

Citing Trump's hold on the GOP, the Arizona senator said Tuesday that he won't run for re-election next year.

President Donald Trump hit back at Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) the morning after the senator gave a blistering address condemning the president.

Flake announced on Tuesday that he would not seek another term in office. In a speech on the Senate floor, he blamed his decision partly on the president’s recent behavior.

“When the next generation asks us, ‘Why didn’t you do something? Why didn’t you speak up?’ What are we going to say?” Flake asked his fellow lawmakers.

Trump on Wednesday mocked Flake for acting “so hurt & wounded” and claimed that a lunch meeting he had with Republicans senators on Tuesday “was a love fest with standing ovations.”

Trump also took issue with Flake’s comment on Wednesday that he believed “a lot” of other lawmakers would also speak out.

Flake had told The Arizona Republic on Tuesday that he doesn’t see a place for himself in the current Republican Party under Trump’s leadership.

“Here’s the bottom line: The path that I would have to travel to get the Republican nomination is a path I’m not willing to take, and that I can’t in good conscience take,” he told the newspaper.

Flake told CNN’s New Day on Wednesday that “you can be conservative on policy and it doesn’t matter as much as being with the president, or not criticizing him even if you think he’s wrong. I didn’t feel like I could move ahead and run a campaign that I could be proud of.”

Flake is the second Republican senator critical of Trump to declare he won’t be part of the 2018 race. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) announced in September that he will not seek re-election next year.

Trump also went after Corker following that announcement: