Arizona Republican Senators Determined to Take on President Trump

McCain is riding into the sunset, but blasting President Trump as he does. Flake is gambling his political career to take on Trump as his own reelection heats up.

President Trump’s governing style has ruffled a lot of feathers in Washington D.C. Resistance from Democrats should come as no surprise. They are the opposition, after all. However, many establishment Republicans are also quietly taking issue with President Trump. Then there are the Senators from Arizona, John McCain and Jeff Flake. Both Senators have made it a point to strongly criticize and denounce President Trump.

Both Senators refused to endorse Trump during not just the Republican primaries, but also during the actual Presidential election. McCain is 81 years old and has served in the Senate for over 30 years. Given this and his recent brain cancer diagnosis, it’s unlikely that McCain will seek reelection.

“Never has a party so quickly or easily abandoned its core principles as my party did.”- Jeff Flake

Jeff Flake, however, is set to face a tough primary challenge in 2018. Regardless, Flake has continued to assail President Trump and his policies. Most recently, Jeff Flake sat down with Politico to lambaste Trump. Flake is treating his own reelection bid as a “referendum” on the Republican Party itself and the future of the party.

“We’ve taken a banner that is not familiar to us as Republicans. And I don’t know how long this will last.” – Jeff Flake

Flake has blasted Trump for his brusque governing style, his protectionist trade policies, and scapegoating immigrants. Flake has also publicly supported Republican Senator Bob Corker, who has come to blows with the President recently.

Flake went as far as to write a book, “Conscience of a Conservative,” that focused largely on attacking Trump and his populist platform. Regarding the 2016 Presidential campaign, Flake noted: “Never has a party so quickly or easily abandoned its core principles as my party did.”

Flake wants to recenter the Republican Party on its more traditional establishment stances.

In Arizona, Flake will face off against Kelli Ward in the Republican Primary. Ward is a strong supporter of Trump and has so far enjoyed the support of both the President and Steve Bannon. Flake is seen as the most vulnerable Republican in regards to a primary challenge. At times, Ward has led Flake in the polls.

McCain Continues to Battle Trump As Career Fades

Meanwhile, Senator John McCain has renewed his own attacks on President Trump. McCain has always had an uneasy relationship with Trump, extending back to the Republican Primary season. After video circulated showing Trump engaging in some “locker room” talk, McCain refused to endorse him.

Four American soldiers were killed in an ambush when 40 or more militants overran their convoy.

Now, McCain is calling for answers regarding an attack on American special forces in Niger. McCain has claimed that the White House is not being upfront and is demanding more information regarding an attack in which four American soldiers were killed.

The United States has hundreds of troops in Niger as part of its wide-sweeping war on terror. The four American soldiers were killed in an ambush when 40 or more militants overran their convoy. Apparently, they were traveling in unarmored cars and not expecting enemy contact.

The attack occurred a few weeks ago. However, President Trump has remained mum on the fallen soldiers until this week. Now, accusations are circulating that President Trump told one fallen soldier’s mother “well he knew what he was signing up for.” Many have criticized the alleged remark as cold and unfeeling. Further details regarding this conversation will no doubt surface over the weekend.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Brian Brinker

Brian Brinker is a political consultant and has an M.A in Global Affairs from American University.

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