A scathing send-off

Houston Chronicle Sunday - - FRONT PAGE -

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., who has tan­gled with Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump for months, an­nounced Tues­day that he will not seek re-elec­tion in 2018, declar­ing on the Se­nate floor that he “will no longer be com­plicit or silent” in the face of the pres­i­dent’s “reck­less, out­ra­geous and undig­ni­fied” be­hav­ior.

Flake made his an­nounce­ment in an ex­tra­or­di­nary 17-minute speech in which he chal­lenged not only the pres­i­dent but also his party’s lead­er­ship. He de­plored “the ca­sual un­der­min­ing of our demo­cratic ideals” and “the per­sonal at­tacks, the threats against prin­ci­ples, free­doms and in­sti­tu­tions, the fla­grant dis­re­gard for truth and de­cency” that he said had be­come so preva­lent in U.S. pol­i­tics in the era of Trump.

Trump dis­missed crit­i­cism by Flake, coun­ter­ing that the real rea­son he is re­tir­ing is be­cause of un­fa­vor­able elec­tion odds, not dis­sat­is­fac­tion with the party’s stan­dard-bearer.

From on­line and wire re­ports

Matt McClain / Washington Post

An­drew Harnik / Associated Press

Ari­zona Sen. Jeff Flake — along with a hand­ful of other Repub­li­cans — has tus­sled with Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump this year and was tar­geted by Trump and his op­er­a­tives in his re­elec­tion cam­paign. Flake joined re­cent Trump tar­get Bob Corker, a Ten­nessee sen­a­tor, in plans not to seek re­elec­tion.

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