Trump knocks Flake in congratulating McSally on Arizona win

President TrumpDonald John TrumpGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Health advocates decry funding transfer over migrant children Groups plan mass walkout in support of Kavanaugh accuser MORE took a shot at retiring Arizona Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeGrassley panel scraps Kavanaugh hearing, warns committee will vote without deal Coulter mocks Kavanaugh accuser: She'll only testify 'from a ski lift' Poll: More voters oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination than support it MORE (R) on Wednesday following Rep. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallySinema, Fitzpatrick call for long-term extension of Violence Against Women Act The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — GOP again has momentum on Kavanaugh rollercoaster Arizona race becomes Senate GOP’s ‘firewall’ MORE's (R-Ariz.) victory in the state's GOP Senate primary.

The president tweeted just after midnight Wednesday morning that McSally, who ran on her loyalty to the president, "rejected" an endorsement from Flake in the primary.

"Martha McSally, running in the Arizona Primary for U.S. Senate, was endorsed by rejected Senator Jeff Flake....and turned it down - a first! Now Martha, a great U.S. Military fighter jet pilot and highly respected member of Congress, WINS BIG. Congratulations, and on to November!" Trump wrote.

Flake responded just more than an hour later, refuting Trump's claim that he endorsed McSally and adding that his last endorsement was for Alabama Sen. Doug Jones (D), who defeated a Trump-backed GOP challenger, Roy MooreRoy Stewart MooreSexual assault is not a game — stop using women to score political points GAO investigating after employee featured in Project Veritas video Roy Moore dismisses Kavanaugh accusation: 'So obvious' when claims come 'just days before a very important event' MORE.

"Sorry, @realDonaldTrump. I made no endorsement in this race. I think the last endorsement I made was in the Alabama race," he wrote.

McSally handily won Tuesday night's Arizona Senate primary, defeating GOP candidates Kelli Ward and former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was pardoned by the president earlier this year after being found in contempt of court over racially motivated traffic stops.


While Flake did not endorse McSally directly, he did express his desire for the Arizona lawmaker to prevail in the primary in comments to reporters on Tuesday.

“I think McSally will win. I hope she does. That’s the only shot that obviously Republicans have to hold on to the seat, but it’s even difficult then. This is going to be a hard-fought general election,” Flake said.

"I think long term if we don’t appeal to a broader electorate and quit trying to drill down harder on the base and just, you know, give into the politics of anger and resentment, we’re gonna lose big time long term,” he added.