President Donald Trump reportedly let float he spent $10 million from his own pocket to defeat a senator, from his own party, who had been critical of him.
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) has been a vocal critic of the president throughout his campaign and his presidency as well. In a meeting with GOP senators last July, Trump reportedly told Flake, “You've been very critical of me."
However, when the senator refused to back down, Trump allegedly threatened to attack him publicly. The then-presidential candidate went so far to even threaten Flake so that he would lose his re-election bid.
Months later, before an Arizona election rally, Trump allegedly said he would put $10 million toward the effort.
Flake has raised concern over Trump’s alleged ties with Russia and he also refused to support Trump’s nomination. He also reportedly demanded Trump drop out after the “Access Hollywood” footage surfaced. The senator also criticized Trump’s actions on immigration and international trade and has also been widely critical of GOP's plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Flake, who is up for reelection in 2018, already has a tough pro-Trump competitor, Sen. Kelli Ward, to face. Ward challenged Flake for being against the president as he had not committed to the Senate Republican health care bill.
“If I wanted an easier path through the primary, then I would line up more with where the president is. But I think if you’re an elected official, you’ve got to do what you know what’s right. It’ll be a tougher path than I could have had, would have had, but I think I’ll get there,” Flake once told The Washington Post.
Flake also once tweeted and praised House Speaker Paul Ryan for speaking out against Trump’s Muslim ban.
Two other Trump-allied opponents also considered entering the race against Flake. They include former campaign COO Jeff DeWit and former state GOP chair Robert Graham. In the 2018 elections, Republicans have only eight seats to defend, whereas Democrats have 25 for the elections.
@JeffFlake Trump has spoken of spending $10 million of his own money to defeat Jeff Flake of Arizona, according to two sources . HA. No way— james (@caperton) July 11, 2017
critical of him. Spoiler alert: Trump is not going to spend $10 million to defeat Jeff Flake. Trump is cheap. But he will spend a great deal— Vincent E Ankner (@oregonvt) July 10, 2017