Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) railed against President Trump in a Politico op-ed on Monday, claiming that the Republican Party is in "denial" about the president's actions.
"It was we conservatives who rightly and robustly asserted our constitutional prerogatives as a co-equal branch of government when a Democrat was in the White House but who, despite solemn vows to do the same in the event of a Trump presidency, have maintained an unnerving silence as instability has ensued," Flake wrote. "To carry on in the spring of 2017 as if what was happening was anything approaching normalcy required a determined suspension of critical faculties. And tremendous powers of denial."
"Too often, we observe the unfolding drama along with the rest of the country, passively, all but saying, 'Someone should do something!' without seeming to realize that that someone is us," he added.
Flake, who is up for reelection in 2018, has been an outspoken critic of Trump. The Washington Post reported that on July 8, at a closed door meeting with Trump and Senate Republicans, Flake stood up to Trump by urging him to stop attacking Mexicans and questioning why he made comments last year suggesting Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was not a war hero.
Behind closed doors, the president reportedly stated he would spend $10 million in the Republican primary to take Flake out of the Senate.
"So, where should Republicans go from here?" Flake wrote. "First, we shouldn’t hesitate to speak out if the president 'plays to the base' in ways that damage the Republican Party’s ability to grow and speak to a larger audience."