Arizona Senator Jeff Flake Says He Won't Run for Re-Election in 2018

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"Unfortunately I think world leaders are very aware that much of what he says is untrue", Corker said. Because to have a healthy government, we must have healthy and functioning parties.

"We must respect each other again in an atmosphere of shared facts and shared value", he said.

The junior senator from Arizona has been one of the most public critics of President Donald Trump since before his election, but his takedown of America's commander-in-chief was still stinging.

His extraordinary address came hours after a Republican colleague, Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, stepped up his all-out war of words with Trump, calling him an "utterly untruthful" leader who "debases" the nation. Kelli Ward - something mirrored in internal GOP numbers, too.

Over the summer, Trump pilloried Senate Republicans - as a group and some by name - after they failed to generate sufficient votes to repeal and replace the 2010 Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, one of his top presidential campaign promises. He received applause at the conclusion of his remarks, which mirrored the themes Flake detailed in his recent book, an anti-Trump manifesto titled "Conscience of a Conservative".

The White House danced on Flake's political grave.

"There are times we must risk our careers", Flake added, referring to us possibly seeing him go rogue within his caucus between now and when he leaves office in January 2019.

Senator Flake, a conservative Mormon, condemned the "coarseness of our leadership", the "compromise of our moral authority" and the "degradation of our politics".

"I will not be complicit or silent", Flake said.

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Herschel Fink, executive director of the Arizona Democratic Party, said Flake's retirement "further exposes the Republican Party's civil war - which will continue in full force in Arizona as the GOP struggles with a field of candidates who go further and further out of touch with voters".

And he acknowledged that his decision was motivated, in part, because he was anxious about the concessions he would have to make if he wanted to run a winning campaign.

"It would require me to believe in positions I don't hold on such issues as trade and immigration and it would require me to condone behavior that I can not condone".

Trump, via Twitter, has been unrelenting in his criticism of Corker and Flake, accusing them of supporting Democratic priorities, and using sometimes slashing language, such as his dismissal of Corker as "liddle Bob Corker".

Nonetheless, Republicans and the Trump administration are determined to get tax legislation into law this year, and before the latest outburst between Corker and Trump, all sides seemed to think they can unite around that goal. "Anger and resentment are not a governing philosophy", he said. He was facing a stiff challenge for the Republican nomination, and Democrats were preparing a tough general election fight as well. Now, his decision to retire throws the prospects for his seat even more up in the air. Bannon was recruiting a primary challenger to run against Corker.

Republicans, meanwhile, expressed optimism that the seat would stay in GOP hands. But Trump was pleased about his lunch on Capitol Hill with GOP senators Tuesday. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., said in a statement.

Trumpism will run its course, Flake predicted.

Still, there has been an uptick in retirements among moderate House Republicans. McCain, who represents Arizona alongside Flake in the Senate, denounced "half-baked, spurious nationalism" in a speech last week that also decried the abdication of United States leadership on the global stage.

Those opposing Flake took his decision as a clear victory. Last week, former Trump strategist Steve Bannon attended a fundraiser for her.