White House Plays Hardball with Flake

Politico: “The White House has met with at least three actual or prospective primary challengers to Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake in recent weeks, a reflection of Donald Trump’s strained relations with the senator and the latest sign of the president’s willingness to play hardball with lawmakers who cross him — even Republican incumbents.”

“Flake, a longtime Trump critic who refused to endorse the president during the 2016 campaign, is one of a handful of undecided Republican votes on the Obamacare repeal effort. He’s also one of the most vulnerable Republicans up for reelection in 2018.”

Playbook: “If Trump backs a challenger to Flake, it will be a big, big deal. The White House merely meeting with candidates is certain to raise ire in the Senate Republican Conference. Loyalty is a big deal in the Senate.”

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