Flake calls for 2020 Trump primary challenger

Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeTrump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Live coverage: Trump delivers State of the Union Sasse’s jabs at Trump spark talk of primary challenger MORE (R-Ariz.) called for a Republican to challenge President TrumpDonald John TrumpRosenstein expected to leave DOJ next month: reports Allies wary of Shanahan's assurances with looming presence of Trump States file lawsuit seeking to block Trump's national emergency declaration MORE in the 2020 election on Sunday during an interview with NBC's Chuck Todd on "Meet the Press."  

"Do you think he needs to be challenged from somebody who espouses your views?" Todd asked Flake. 

"Yes, I do. I do. I mean, it would be a tough go in a Republican primary. The Republican Party is the Trump party right now. But that's not to say it will stay that way," Flake said. 

ADVERTISEMENT

The retiring Arizona has long been one of Trump's chief critics in the Republican Party, often lashing out at the president for his immigration and economic policies, as well as for his bombastic rhetoric. He criticized the Trump administration when announcing he would not run again for Senate.

Flake made similar comments earlier this month, and would not rule out a 2020 challenge to Trump. 

“I do think the president will have a challenge from the Republican Party, I think there should be,” Flake said. “I also think that there will be an independent challenge, particularly if the Democrats insist on putting somebody up from the far left of the party.”

Flake has stoked speculation about a potential 2020 bid with an upcoming visit to New Hampshire. 

Meanwhile, Trump last night jumped into full campaign mode at a rally in Pennsylvania for GOP congressional candidate Rick Saccone. 

Trump spent most of the event touting his accomplishments as president, and revealing his new campaign slogan "Keep America Great." 

"The tax bill was so massive, bigger than [Ronald] Reagan, biggest one done," Trump said. It is so big, he added, that "we are calling it tax reform" instead of a tax cut.

"This is where a nonpolitician is good. For 40 years they couldn't pass anything," the president continued. 

Trump is poised to face off against one of several Democratic hopefuls in 2020, which may include Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren set to announce plan for universal child care: reports Barack, Michelle Obama expected to refrain from endorsing in 2020 Dem primary: report Booker seeks dialogue about race as he kicks off 2020 campaign MORE (D-Mass.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHarris, Booker call for judgement on Jussie Smollett case to be withheld until investigation is completed Harris calls idea of Trump trusting Putin over US intel ‘height of irresponsibility and shameful’ Barack, Michelle Obama expected to refrain from endorsing in 2020 Dem primary: report MORE (D-Calif.) or Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersCongress closer to forcing Trump’s hand on Saudi support Booker seeks dialogue about race as he kicks off 2020 campaign Capitalism: The known ideal MORE (I-Vt.).