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The office of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, recently received a death threat against the lawmaker, allegedly from a Chicago man, who appeared in federal court Tuesday. | AP file photo

Retiring GOP senator blisters Trump White House: ‘I say enough’

SHARE Retiring GOP senator blisters Trump White House: ‘I say enough’
SHARE Retiring GOP senator blisters Trump White House: ‘I say enough’

WASHINGTON — Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake announced Tuesday that he will not run for re-election in 2018, delivering a blistering rebuke of the Trump Administration for “reckless, outrageous and undignified behavior.”

Flake did not name President Donald Trump but said “such talk emanates from the top of our government.”

In a stunning speech from the Senate floor Flakebemoaned the “flagrant disregard of truth and decency” in politics, saying “heaven help us.”

“Reckless, outrageous, and undignified behavior has become excused and countenanced as ‘telling it like it is,’ when it is actually just reckless, outrageous, and undignified,” Flake said.

“And when such behavior emanates from the top of our government, it is something else: It is dangerous to a democracy. Such behavior does not project strength – because our strength comes from our values. It instead projects a corruption of thespirit,and weakness.”

RELATED: Full text of Sen. Flake’s speech that Trump behavior is ‘dangerous to a democracy’

He said the “impulse to threaten and scapegoat” could turn the Republican Party and the entire nation into ‘fearful, backward-looking people’

“I rise today to say: Enough,” Flake said.

In a challenge to fellow Republicans, Flake asked his colleagues whether they would accept such behavior from a Democratic administration.

“Of course we wouldn’t,” he said.

The White House shrugged off Flake’s criticism, but said he was probably wise not to seek re-election, arguing that Flake lacks enough support in his home state to win in 2018.

“It’s probably a good move,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

Flake, who has criticized the path that the Republican Party has taken under Trump, also told The Arizona Republic in advance of a Tuesday announcement, that “there may not be a place for a Republican like me” in the current GOP.

Flake’s poll numbers had fallen after tangling with Trump. He had a tea party primary challenger in Kelli Ward, whom Trump has praised.


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