- REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Although President Donald Trump refused to lambaste Sen. Jeff Flake by name at a rally in the senator’s home state on Tuesday night, he didn’t miss an opportunity to attack him on Twitter on Wednesday morning.
“Phoenix crowd last night was amazing – a packed house,” Trump tweeted. “I love the Great State of Arizona. Not a fan of Jeff Flake, weak on crime & border!”
Trump’s comments came on the heels of a freewheeling rally he held in Phoenix on Tuesday, during which he issued a lengthy tirade against the media and rehashed his highly criticized response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this month.
Trump also criticized Flake, who has been frequently critical of the president, without specifically naming him.
“And nobody wants me to talk about your other senator who’s weak on borders, weak on crime – so I won’t talk about him,” Trump said, referring to Flake. “Nobody knows who the hell he is.”
“See, I haven’t mentioned any names, so now everybody’s happy,” Trump said.
Earlier this month, Flake released a book in which he accused Trump of negatively impacting the Republican Party.
Trump, in turn, endorsed Flake’s primary challenger last week.
“Great to see that Dr. Kelli Ward is running against Flake Jeff Flake, who is WEAK on borders, crime and a non-factor in Senate. He’s toxic!” Trump tweeted.
Flake has sharpened his criticism of Trump recently, but has largely cosigned the president’s agenda.
Also on Wednesday, Trump tweeted that the “Fake News Media” didn’t cover his Charlottesville comments fairly.
“People got it!” he said.
The president spent a significant amount of time Tuesday night defending his response to the white nationalist rally that quickly turned violent on August 12, when apparent white supremacist James Fields drove his car into a crowd of counterprotesters, ultimately killing 32-year-old demonstrator Heather Heyer.
Trump’s initial response to the riots, in which he said the violence was perpetuated by “many sides,” drew swift condemnation from Democrats and Republicans alike.
On Tuesday night, Trump read back parts of the initial response he gave on that day, though he omitted his comment placing blame on “many sides” for the violence.
Bryan Logan contributed to this report.