Flake: Senators shouldn't 'normalize' Trump's behavior

Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeBiden nominates former Sen. Tom Udall as New Zealand ambassador Biden to nominate Jane Hartley as UK ambassador: report The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Voting rights will be on '22, '24 ballots MORE (R-Ariz.) said Tuesday that he didn’t believe senators “ought to normalize” President Trump’s behavior, specifically citing his criticism of GOP Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerCheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP How leaving Afghanistan cancels our post-9/11 use of force The unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her  MORE (Tenn.).

Flake appeared on CNN minutes after he announced he would not be running for reelection with a fiery speech on the Senate floor attacking Trump, and hours after Trump and Corker publicly feuded with each other earlier Tuesday.

“I’ve known Bob Corker for a long time, and he’s a man of integrity that stands for what he believes and I’m glad to see him speak out,” Flake told host Jake Tapper. 

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“But I’m as puzzled by that as anyone, we’re trying to get an agenda through on the Congress, not just with Republicans but with Democrats as well,” he continued. “And we see fits and starts of that but nothing sustains.

“And just the tweets and the behavior that should be above the president’s position just continues.”

Trump and Corker had reignited their feud earlier Tuesday, with the president again claiming that Corker had pulled out of reelection after Trump said he wouldn’t endorse him.

Corker, who is also retiring from the Senate after 2018, fired back by saying Trump would be known for the "debasement of the nation."

Asked by Tapper if other senators should feel obligated to speak out, Flake responded, “I can only speak for myself but I don’t think we ought to normalize this kind of behavior.”

Flake refused to respond to the White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying in the Tuesday press briefing it was a good decision for him not to run for reelection in the Senate in 2018.

"No response at all," Flake said.