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Trump foe Flake rejects president’s attacks on ‘sick’ & ‘rigged’ US system

Trump foe Flake rejects president’s attacks on ‘sick’ & ‘rigged’ US system
A Republican senator has attacked Donald Trump’s characterization of the US political system, saying it is neither “sick” nor “rigged” as the president has suggested.

Senator Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) was responding to comments Trump made to supporters during a rally in Pensacola, Florida, Friday night, in which he repeatedly referred to a “sickness” in the country’s political institutions. "It's being proven we have a rigged system. Doesn't happen so easy," Trump said. He added, “There's no country like our country, but we have a lot of sickness in some of our institutions."

READ MORE: Arizona senator bows out of 2018 race in anti-Trump speech

Flake tweeted, “This is not a sick system, Mr President, nor is it a rigged system. Let’s not sow distrust in our democratic institutions.”

Flake confirmed in October that he would not be seeking reelection in 2018, and has since become a vocal critic of the president, as well as the GOP’s position on other issues, such as Republican candidate Roy Moore’s bid to fill the vacant senate seat in Alabama.

While announcing his retirement on the senate floor, Flake denounced the “complicity” of the Republican party in the “alarming and dangerous state of affairs” under the Trump presidency. Flake spoke further of his distaste for the “flagrant disregard for truth or decency” and the “regular and casual undermining of our democratic norms.”

READ MORE: Republican party is ‘toast’ says Az. senator in ‘hot mic’ moment

In November, Flake was caught on microphone saying the Republican Party would be “toast” if it became “the party of Roy Moore and Donald Trump.” Moore, who leads the polls to replace Jeff Sessions as Senator in Alabama, has been accused of sexual abuse by as many as eight women who claim the judge attacked them as adolescents.

Trump then attacked Flake, saying he probably would not support the party’s tax reform plan as his career as a politician was itself “toast.”

However, earlier this week, Flake seemed to put aside his differences with Trump to attend a meeting chaired by the president to discuss trade. With Flake seated to his immediate left, Trump then reaffirmed his support for Roy Moore, saying: “I think he’s going to do very well.”

READ MORE: Not just a matter of opinion: NYTimes openly lobbies against GOP tax bill

“We don’t want to have a liberal Democrat in Alabama, believe me,” Trump said, ahead of the December 12 Alabama vote.