Report: Trump team reaching out to potential Flake challengers

President Trump and top administration officials are speaking with potential primary challengers to Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeGOP strategist donates to Alabama Democrat Sasse: RNC help for Roy Moore 'doesn't make any sense' Sasse calls RNC decision to resume support for Moore 'bad' and 'sad' MORE (R-Ariz.) amid frosty relations between the Republican president and the moderate GOP senator, Politico reported Monday.

Trump has personally talked to Arizona Treasurer Jeff DeWit, who worked on the Trump campaign, at least twice since taking office. Other administration officials have spoken with former state Sen. Kelli Ward and former Arizona GOP chairman Robert Graham, the report said.

Ward has announced her bid for Senate, while DeWit and Graham are considering campaigns. David Bossie, Trump’s deputy campaign manager, reportedly told Graham that he or DeWit would get significant support from conservatives if they launched campaigns.

ADVERTISEMENT
Flake, who is up for reelection in 2018, has been a top Republican critic of Trump, refusing to endorse him during the 2016 campaign. He said in June that he couldn't see himself voting for Trump.

A spokesman for Flake noted to Politico that Flake had “voted with President Trump over 95 percent of the time this year” and backed some of Trump’s biggest goals, such as Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation.

Trump reportedly considered donating $10 million to defeat Flake in the 2018 primary.