Flake not worried 'at all' about Trump's attacks

Flake not worried 'at all' about Trump's attacks
© Greg Nash

Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeCorker pressed as reelection challenges mount -trillion debt puts US fiscal house on very shaky ground Senate votes down Paul's bid to revoke war authorizations MORE (R-Ariz.) told reporters on Monday that he is not worried about President Trump attacking him at a rally scheduled in Phoenix on Tuesday.

“I don’t worry about it at all,” he said, according to CNN, which reported the exchange.

Flake has emerged as one of Trump’s most vocal Republican critics and has authored a new book, “Conscience of a Conservative,” urging his fellow Republicans to stand up against the president.

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Trump struck back last week, calling Flake “toxic” and praising conservative candidate Kelli Ward for mounting a primary challenging against the Arizona senator in next year's midterm elections.

There’s also speculation that Trump may endorse Arizona Treasurer Jeff DeWitt, who served as his Arizona campaign chairman in the 2016 presidential race, to run in the primary against Flake.

But Flake told reporters after a local Chamber of Commerce breakfast on Monday that he’s not spending much time thinking about what Trump may do to influence next year’s race.

“That’s not my realm. That’s somebody else’s. ... I’m running my own campaign. It’s going well. And what the president does, that’s his prerogative,” Flake said.

Earlier this month, Flake called on Trump to stop attacking Democratic senators if he wants Democratic votes to help pass his agenda.

Trump had called Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal a “phony Vietnam con artist” after the Connecticut lawmaker voiced support for investigating Trump’s ties to Russia.

It was a reference to Blumenthal’s retracted claim about serving in the Vietnam War.

“I don’t think it’s helpful. We in the Senate, we have a 60-vote hurdle to pass almost anything or we need unanimous consent to just move ahead,” Flake told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “It’s tough if we get so personal with them. So I don’t think it’s helpful in terms of legislation moving ahead.