White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday that Sen. Jeff Flake's (R., Ariz.) speech minutes earlier attacking President Donald Trump was "not befitting of the Senate floor."
Flake announced shortly before the White House press briefing that he will not run for reelection in 2018.
"Here's the bottom line: The path that I would have to travel to get the Republican nomination is a path I'm not willing to take, and that I can't in good conscience take," Flake told the Arizona Republic in a telephone interview. "It would require me to believe in positions I don't hold on such issues as trade and immigration and it would require me to condone behavior that I cannot condone."
Flake then spoke on the Senate floor for over 15 minutes about his decision not to seek another term, castigating Trump's behavior as "reckless" and "undignified."
Sanders dismissed Flake's speech as "petty" and said that he would not have been able to win reelection because his support in Arizona was waning. She was later asked by a reporter during the press briefing to specifically point to parts of the speech that she thought were "petty."
"I thought that his attacks and a lot of the comments that he made—I don't have a readout in front of me, but as I was watching it, I noticed that a lot of the language, I didn't think was befitting of the Senate floor," Sanders said.
In recent months, Trump has criticized Flake multiple times on Twitter, writing that he is "weak on crime."
Phoenix crowd last night was amazing – a packed house. I love the Great State of Arizona. Not a fan of Jeff Flake, weak on crime & border!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2017
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2017