President Donald Trump suggested Wednesday that the reason Republican Sens. Jeff Flake and Bob Corker are not seeking re-election is due to them being unpopular rather than their harsh criticism of him.
Flake, of Arizona, announced that he will not run for re-election Tuesday in a blistering speech on the Senate floor that bemoaned the "coarsening" tenor of politics in the United States.
"The reason Flake and Corker dropped out of the Senate race is very simple, they had zero chance of being elected. Now act so hurt & wounded!" Trump tweeted.
The President, who was on Capitol Hill Tuesday for a lunch with GOP senators about tax reform, then tweeted: "The meeting with Republican Senators yesterday, outside of Flake and Corker, was a love fest with standing ovations and great ideas for USA!"
Asked on CNN's "New Day" Wednesday about Trump's criticism, Flake acknowledged that it's "very difficult to be re-elected in the Republican Party right now, in Arizona in particular.
"It doesn't matter the policies that you adopt or your votes -- it's if you're with the President, and I can't be with the President at all times," he said. "I'm sorry I think when the President is wrong you have to call him out, and sometimes he's wrong. And that's what I tried to point out in the speech yesterday."