Jeff Flake reportedly considering 2020 Trump challenge: ‘Somebody needs to run on the Republican side’


Arizona GOP Sen. Jeff Flake isn’t shutting the door on a possible White House run against President Trump.

The Arizona lawmaker – who announced last year that he would not be seeking re-election to the Senate – told Politico Friday that he hasn’t “ruled it out,” nor has he “ruled it in.”

“Just, somebody needs to run on the Republican side,” Flake said, adding that he thought Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., would also be good Republican alternatives to challenge Trump in 2020.

“I hope somebody does [run], just to remind Republicans what it means to be conservative and what it means to be decent. We’ve got to bring that back,” Flake told the outlet. “You can whip up the base for a cycle or two but it wears thin. Anger and resentment are not a governing philosophy.”

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And while he insisted that a 2020 Senate run in Arizona was “not in the cards,” he also told Politico that he’s “not swearing off politics.”

On Thursday, Flake announced via Twitter his intention, alongside Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., to “ask for unanimous consent” to vote for legislation that would “protect” Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

“When the Senate convenes next week, @ChrisCoons and I will ask for unanimous consent to bring S.2644, the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act, to a vote on the Senate floor,” he tweeted. “After the firing of The AG, it is more important than ever to protect the Special Counsel.”

The announcement, which came a day after Jeff Sessions resigned as attorney general, drew criticism from the president.

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“Jeff Flake(y) doesn’t want to protect the Non-Senate confirmed Special Counsel, he wants to protect his future after being unelectable in Arizona for the ‘crime’ of doing a terrible job!” Trump tweeted. “A weak and ineffective guy!”

Flake told Politico that Republicans “can’t be the party of Donald Trump.”

As for whether Trump can again claim electoral victory, that “depends on if one, there’s no alternative on the Republican side. And two, if the Democrats nominate someone on the far left, it’s possible,” Flake told Politico.

Fox News’ Kaitlyn Schallhorn and Nicole Darrah contributed to this report.





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