President Donald Trump went after Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake in tweets this morning.
Trump called Flake “toxic” and “weak on borders.”
“Great to see that Dr. Kelli Ward is running against Flake Jeff Flake, who is WEAK on borders, crime and a non-factor in Senate. He's toxic!” Trump tweeted.
Great to see that Dr. Kelli Ward is running against Flake Jeff Flake, who is WEAK on borders, crime and a non-factor in Senate. He's toxic!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2017
The tweet praises Ward, who is challenging Flake, a BYU grad, in Arizona's 2018 Republican primary. It also comes as Trump prepares a trip to Phoenix, where he’s expected to hold a campaign-style rally, according to CNN.
Publicity seeking Lindsey Graham falsely stated that I said there is moral equivalency between the KKK, neo-Nazis & white supremacists......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2017
Flake and Trump have sparred back and forth in a war of words. Flake has been critical of Trump, highlighting in his book the damages that Trump has done to the U.S. and the Republican Party.
Flake said he hoped politicians would work for the good of the party, and not necessarily just the president.
"There was a time when the leadership of the Congress from both parties felt an institutional loyalty that would frequently create bonds across party lines in defense of congressional prerogatives in a unified front against the White House, regardless of the president's party,” he wrote, according to excerpt from Politico.
Flake also called for Americans to speak their truths about Trump and politics overall.
"We shouldn't hesitate to speak out if the president 'plays to the base' in ways that damage the Republican Party's ability to grow and speak to a larger audience,” he wrote.
As Vox explained, Trump has been considering spending $10 million out of his own pocket to defeat Flake, hoping to end a conflict with one of the most critical Republicans.
Some said Flake’s taken a gamble, as he’s worked to stay decent and engage in polite political debate, something that might not be fitting for the current climate, the Atlantic reported.
“Flake seems as if he has just landed in a time machine from some bygone era of polite disagreement,” The Atlantic reported.
In the past, Flake spoke out against some of Trump’s policies when the now-president was a candidate during the 2016 election.
Flake said on multiple occasions he will stand by his principals, even if it means arguing against the president, Vox reported.
“If I wanted an easier path through the primary, then I would line up more with where the president is,” he said. “But I think if you’re an elected official, you’ve got to do what you know what’s right. It’ll be a tougher path than I could have had, would have had, but I think I’ll get there.”