A senator from Donald Trump’s Republican Party unleashed a fierce broadside Tuesday against the US leader as he announced he would not seek re-election, telling Senate colleagues he “will not be complicit” with a “reckless” presidency.
Jeff Flake of Arizona has served in the Senate since 2013 and has been an outspoken critic of Trump-era politics, writing a book called “Conscience of a Conservative.”
“We must stop pretending that the degradation of politics and the conduct of some in our executive branch are normal. They are not normal,” Flake, 54, said as he announced he would not run for office again next year.
“Reckless, outrageous and undignified behaviour is excused as telling it like it is when it’s actually just reckless, outrageous and undignified. When such behaviour emanates from the top of our government, it is something else.”
Flake blasted Trump for his habit of tweeting and attacked his Republican colleagues for staying “silent as the norms and values that keep America strong are undermined.”
“Politics can make us silent when we should speak and silence can equal complicity,” he said.
“I have children and grandchildren to answer to. So, Mr. President, I will not be complicit or silent…. I am announcing today that my service in the Senate will conclude at the end of my term in early January 2019.”
Flake’s extraordinary speech comes as a Senate colleague, Bob Corker, has stepped up a war of words with Trump, calling him an “utterly untruthful” leader who “debases” the nation.