Flake voices support for McConnell amid Trump attacks

Flake voices support for McConnell amid Trump attacks

Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeGOP senators introduce Trump's plan to claw back billion in spending Overnight Energy: Reporters barred from Day 2 of EPA summit | Dems blame Trump for gas price increases | Massachusetts to get new offshore wind farm Jeff Flake: Trump has 'debased' the presidency MORE (R-Ariz.) tweeted his support for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGiuliani: White House wants briefing on classified meeting over Russia probe GOP senators introduce Trump's plan to claw back billion in spending The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — Trump now says Korea summit could still happen June 12 MORE on Thursday as President Trump ratcheted up his criticism of the Kentucky Republican.

Flake said McConnell "does a tough job well," adding that the GOP leader has his support.

The Arizona lawmaker's tweet followed another from fellow GOP Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — Trump now says Korea summit could still happen June 12 The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — The art of walking away from the deal Overnight Finance: Trump signs Dodd-Frank rollback | Snubs key Dems at ceremony | Senate confirms banking regulator | Lawmakers lash out on Trump auto tariffs MORE (Utah), the most senior GOP senator, who defended McConnell as the best leader in the Senate during his 40 years in the chamber.

The show of support comes as McConnell faces a deluge of attacks from the president, who has blamed him in recent days for the failure to advance a bill repealing and replacing ObamaCare.

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Trump appeared to threaten McConnell over the passage of healthcare legislation and other GOP priorities earlier Thursday when asked by reporters if the Kentucky senator should step down.

“If he doesn’t get repeal and replace done, and if he doesn’t get taxes done — meaning cuts and reform, and if he doesn’t get a very easy one to get done — infrastructure — if he doesn’t get them done, then you can ask me that question,” Trump responded.

Flake, a longtime critic of Trump, recently released a book criticizing the Republican Party for creating the conditions that led to Trump's rise. In recent interviews, he has stepped up his criticism, arguing that the GOP must speak out more against the White House.

“To carry on in the spring of 2017 as if what was happening was anything approaching normalcy required a determined suspension of critical faculties. And tremendous powers of denial,” Flake said in July.