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In a surprising move, Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona announced on the Senate Floor on Tuesday that he wouldn’t be seeking re-election in 2018. In his speech, he was harshly critical of President Donald Trump and his job performance thus far.
“There are times when we must risk our careers in favor of our principles, now is such a time,” he said during his speech. “It is time for our complicity and our accommodation of the unacceptable to end.”
Flake has been a harsh critic of Trump ever since he took office and has been outspoken on numerous occasions. He told The Arizona Republic that he became “convinced there may not be a place for a Republican like me in the current Republican climate or the current Republican Party.”
“The personal attacks, the threats against principles, freedoms and institution, the flagrent disregard for truth and decency. The reckless provocations most oten for the pettiest and most personal reasons. Reasons having nothing whatsoever to do with the fortunes of the people that we have been elected to serve.”
“Mr. President, I rise today to say, enough,” Flake said.
Watch a video of Flake’s speech on the Senate floor below:
Flake’s bombshell announcement creates further tensions in the Senate as the GOP hopes it can keep its 52-seat majority in the midterm elections. Flake served as a junior senator alongside Sen. John McCain since 2013. He decided to run for Senate in 2012 and defeated three Republican challengers in the primary and narrowly prevailed in the general election (49.2 percent to 46.2 percent).