Reports: Trump Met With Possible Flake Challengers While In Phoenix

President Donald Trump reacts before speaking at a rally at the Phoenix Convention Center, Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
|
August 24, 2017 8:27 a.m.

President Donald Trump publicly berated Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) on Twitter Wednesday morning and during his campaign speech — without mentioning his name — Tuesday night in Phoenix.

Now, new reports reveal the President also privately criticized the Arizona senator during a meeting with Flake’s potential challengers Tuesday.

Before he gave his rally speech, Trump spoke with Arizona state Treasurer Jeff DeWitt and former state GOP chairman Robert Graham, according to sources familiar with the meeting who spoke with Politico and CNN. Both are considering a primary run against Flake, who is up for re-election in 2018.

Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) and Graham’s 13-year-old daughter, who posted a photo of the huddle on Instagram, were also present at the meeting, CNN reported.

Sources told Politico and CNN that the meeting was focused on getting rid of Flake, who Trump referred to as “the flake.”

The President has been lashing out against Flake publicly for about a week. Last Thursday, Trump tweeted praise of former Arizona state Sen. Kelli Ward (R), who’s also considering a run against Flake. He called Flake “toxic” and “weak on borders, crime and a non-factor in the Senate.”

He tweeted again Wednesday morning, saying he is “not a fan” of Flake.

The criticism comes after Flake spent several weeks appearing on cable news shows, discussing his new book “Conscience of a Conservative” and calling out his party for embracing Trump and abandoning traditional conservative values. 

This post has been updated.

Support The TPM Journalism Fund
  • Contributions allow us to hire more journalists
  • Contributions allow us to provide free memberships to those who cannot afford them
  • Contributions support independent, non-corporate journalism
Comments
advertisement
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Special Projects Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer:
SPECIAL DEAL FOR PAST TPM MEMBERS
40% OFF AN ANNUAL PRIME MEMBERSHIP
REJOIN FOR JUST $30