Flake: Trump sets a bad example for children

Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeArpaio considering running for former sheriff job after Trump pardon Overnight Energy: Warren edges past Sanders in poll of climate-focused voters | Carbon tax shows new signs of life | Greens fuming at Trump plans for development at Bears Ears monument Carbon tax shows new signs of life in Congress MORE said Tuesday that President Trump sets a bad example for the nation’s children.

Flake made the comments in an appearance on CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper" just moments after giving an explosive speech on the Senate floor where he announced that he would not seek reelection and criticized the president.

“The statements that are made about people and seeming to ascribe the worst motives to people as well, that's something we tell our kids not to do,” Flake told Tapper. “The mean and cruel tweets or language that is sometimes used, that's something that I would certainly think that we shouldn't do.”


Flake is the second GOP senator in a day to say that Trump is setting a poor example. Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerTrump announces, endorses ambassador to Japan's Tennessee Senate bid Meet the key Senate player in GOP fight over Saudi Arabia Trump says he's 'very happy' some GOP senators have 'gone on to greener pastures' MORE (R-Tenn.) earlier on Tuesday said "no" in response to a question about whether he thought Trump was a good role model for kids. Like Flake, Corker is retiring at the end of Congress. 

Flake, who has been battling with Trump off and on for more than a year, said he no longer has a place in the political climate that Trump has created.

"The notion that one should stay silent as the norms and values that keep America strong are undermined and as the alliances and agreements that ensure the stability of the entire world are routinely threatened by the level of thought that goes into 140 characters. The notion that we should say and do nothing in the face of such mercurial behavior is ahistoric and, I believe, profoundly misguided,” Flake said in his announcement.

Flake was also polling terribly in Arizona and faced the prospect of losing a GOP primary to a candidate backed by Trump's former White House strategist, Stephen Bannon.