'Reckless, Outrageous and Undignified': Jeff Flake Denounces Trump on Senate Floor
Senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) tore into President Trump in a speech on the Senate floor minutes after announcing he will not run for reelection in 2018.
Flake began by describing Trump but not naming him, saying that the "reckless provocations" of the executive branch "most often [happen] for the pettiest and most personal reasons."
Flake said none of President Trump's actions or behavior should be regarded as "normal," saying the president disrespects the "institutions" of America by acting in a "flagrant disregard for truth and decency."
"Without fear of the consequences and without consideration of the rules of what is politically safe or palatable, we must stop pretending that degradation of the politics and the conduct of some in our executive branch are normal. They are not normal," Flake continued.
In recent weeks, Flake's seat has been a target of former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, who pledged to support primary challengers to Trump critics.
Flake ripped Trump repeatedly as "reckless, outrageous and undignified," saying that "anger and resentment are not a governing philosophy."
He called Trump's behavior "dangerous to our democracy," saying that it projects "weakness" instead of the strength the president believes it does.
Flake said voters and politicians must make sure that such behavior never becomes "the normal."
Addressing Senate presiding officer Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Flake continued his criticism of Trump for several more minutes, saying that the next generation will ask what we did to stop such governing style.
"If I have been critical it is not because I relish in criticizing the behavior of the president of the United States... I believe it is my obligation to do so," Flake said. "None of this is normal."
After Flake concluded his remarks, his Grand Canyon State counterpart, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) praised Flake's service to Arizona and the country.
Flake's previously presumed primary challenger, Dr. Kelli Ward, responded to the remarks:
"Arizona voters are the big winner in Jeff Flake's decision to not seek re-election. They deserve a strong conservative in the U.S. Senate who supports President Trump and the 'America First' agenda. Our campaign proudly offers an optimistic path forward for Arizona and America," Ward said.
Watch the entire speech above.