Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona says President Donald Trump is certain to face an independent challenge in the next presidential election, if not one from within the party. And Flake is not ruling out being that challenger.
Flake has been fiercely critical of Trump, even while supporting parts of his agenda, like the new tax cuts. Trump in turn has denounced the senator, who announced in October he won't seek re-election next year.
In that announcement, he lamented the "flagrant disregard for truth or decency" ushered in by Trump.
"We must never regard as 'normal' the regular and casual undermining of our democratic norms and ideals," Flake said. "We must never meekly accept the daily sundering of our country — the personal attacks, the threats against principles, freedoms and institutions; the flagrant disregard for truth or decency; the reckless provocations, most often for the pettiest and most personal reasons, reasons having nothing whatsoever to do with the fortunes of the people that we have all been elected to serve."
Flake says if Trump continues on his path, and if Democrats lean left, a "huge swath of voters" will be "looking for something else."
Asked on ABC's "This Week" whether he might run for president in 2020, Flake said "That's not in my plans" but "I don't rule anything out."
He says Republicans must marginalize the party's "ultra-nationalist" element.