GOP rep warns Trump against clashing with Flake, McCain: They're on 'your team'

GOP rep warns Trump against clashing with Flake, McCain: They're on 'your team'
© Greg Nash

A Republican congressman on Wednesday urged President Trump to recognize that Sens. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeAuthorizing military force is necessary, but insufficient Republicans jockey for position on immigration McCain, Flake warn against 'politically-motivated penalties' for Canadian defense firm MORE (R-Ariz.) and John McCainJohn Sidney McCainRubio asks Army to kick out West Point grad with pro-communist posts The VA's woes cannot be pinned on any singular administration Overnight Defense: Mattis offers support for Iran deal | McCain blocks nominees over Afghanistan strategy | Trump, Tillerson spilt raises new questions about N. Korea policy MORE (R-Ariz.) are on his “team,” comments that follow the president’s attacks on the two Arizona lawmakers during a campaign-style rally in their home-state Tuesday night.

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), who sits on the House Budget Committee, said Trump is correct in saying that the failure to repeal and replace ObamaCare was a Congressional failure.”

But Cole cautioned Trump about launching personal attacks, noting he will need the Republican senators to advance his agenda.

“He’s got every right to be frustrated, but I think usually it’s a mistake to personalize things in politics. Because who’s your opponent today could be your friend tomorrow,” Cole told “CNN Newsroom.”

Trump during the Tuesday rally did not mention either Flake or McCain by name, but offered a criticism of McCain for his deciding vote earlier this month against a scaled-back repeal of ObamaCare. The president also hit Flake for being “weak on borders, weak on crime.”

Cole advised Trump to employ “a different style” in dealing with Republican lawmakers.

“You reach out to people. You’re not shy about where you disagree, but again, don't make it personal,” he said. "And remember, these are members of your team and you’ve a lot to get done this fall. You are going to need every vote you've got in the United States Senate."