“Based on the lack of support he has from the people of Arizona, it’s probably a good move,” press secretary Sarah Sanders said during the daily briefing.
Sanders said she hadn’t spoken to Trump about Flake’s decision.
Flake, who has frequently sparred with Trump, said earlier Tuesday he will not run for re-election. In a blistering floor speech he bemoaned the changing tenor of politics in the United States.
“If I have been critical, it’s not because I relish criticizing the behavior of the President of the United States,” Flake said. “If I have been critical, it is because I believe that it is my obligation to do so, as a matter of duty and conscience.”
“The notion that one should stay silent as the norms and values that keep America strong are undermined and as the alliances and agreements that ensure the stability of the entire world are routinely threatened by the level of thought that goes into 140 characters — the notion that one should say and do nothing in the face of such mercurial behavior is ahistoric and, I believe, profoundly misguided,” he said.