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Trump Slams Retiring Jeff Flake: 'He Did the Smart Thing'

Image: Trump Slams Retiring Jeff Flake: 'He Did the Smart Thing'
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By    |   Wednesday, 25 October 2017 03:38 PM

President Donald Trump on Wednesday slammed retiring Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, saying that "he did the smart thing for himself."

"I don't blame him for leaving," Trump told reporters on the White House lawn before heading to Andrews Air Force Base for a flight to Texas. "This way, he can get out somewhat gracefully."

Flake, 54, said Tuesday that he would not seek a second term in a speech on the Senate floor that excoriated Trump — admitting Wednesday that he likely could not win in a Republican primary in the state because he challenges the president.

Flake is one of several vulnerable Republicans in next year's congressional elections. He also served 12 years in the House.

"His poll numbers in Arizona are so low that he couldn't win," Trump told reporters. "His poll numbers are terrible.

"He's done terribly for the great people of Arizona, a state that likes Donald Trump very much.

"He would have never won," he said. "He did the right thing for himself."

Trump attacked Flake's book — "Conscience of a Conservative," published in May — as "that horrible book," citing it as evidence that "he was against me from before he ever knew me.

"He wrote a book about me before I ever met him, before I ever heard his name," Trump said. "He's saying that because he has nothing else to say."

However, President Trump wished Flake well and said he believed that the senator would support his tax reform plan.

"I wish him well," he told reporters. "I really believe he's going to do the right thing for the country.

"He's going to vote for tax cuts because we desperately need tax cuts to put our people back to work.

"We need tax cuts also to be able to compete with other countries."

Despite Flake's attacks, as well as last week's slam by Arizona's other Republican senator, John McCain,  Trump told reporters that "we have actually great unity in the Republican Party.

"Look, they have to do their thing," he said. "We have great unity."

Trump met Tuesday with Republican senators, saying that he talked with Sen. John McCain — chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee — about the nation's military.

"We had a great conversation yesterday," the president said. "I called it a love fest.

"It was almost a love fest. Maybe it was a love fest.

"We got standing ovations. There is great unity.

"If you look at the Democrats, with Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, that's a mess," Trump said. "There's great unity in the Republican Party."

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President Donald Trump on Wednesday slammed retiring Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, saying that "he did the smart thing for himself."
donald trump, slams, retiring, jeff flake, smart thing
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2017-38-25
Wednesday, 25 October 2017 03:38 PM
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