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RNC Chairwoman Warns Trump Opponents In GOP

| by Jordan Smith

Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel has warned Republican members of Congress who have criticized President Donald Trump that it could cost them their seats in 2018.

McDaniel made the comments in a discussion about Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, who has spoken out against Trump, CNN reported.

McDaniel pointed to two Senate candidates who attacked Trump in 2016.

"I will say if you look at 2016, the senators that did not support the president, and let's look at Joe Heck and Kelly Ayotte, they fell short in those Senate races, so there is a cautionary tale there because voters want you to support the president in his agenda," she added, according to CNN.

Flake is up for re-election in 2018. He recently published a book entitled "Conscience of a Conservative," which was highly critical of the president.

One of the main issues on which Flake disagrees with Trump is the president's travel ban.

"During the campaign, I assumed that this shocking episode -- among so many more -- would be a political blunder from which Donald Trump would never recover," Flake wrote in the book, reports The Washington Post. "I readily concede that I got the politics wrong. I will even concede that I underestimated the populist appeal of Trump's proposed Muslim ban. But I will not concede the underlying principle of religious freedom."

He also opposes it because of his own religion.

"When we say 'No Muslims' or 'No Mexicans,' we may as well say 'No Mormons,'" added Flake, a practicing Mormon. "Because it is no different."

Flake also noted that his opposition to deporting immigrants is based on his experience as a worker on his family's ranch.

"Our mechanic Manuel was taken back to Mexico by the Border Patrol nineteen times," Flake wrote in his book. "My life was made far more difficult during the middle of summer when the Border Patrol would raid our farm. Sometimes the Border Patrol would send small planes to search our alfalfa fields for migrants. When I would hear the distinctive whine of the Cessna, I'd hop on a horse, put on a hat that would obscure my head, and try to divert the Border Patrol away from our workers -- a decoy in the game of cat and mouse."

Speaking on NBC on Aug. 6, Flake widened his criticism of Trump, saying the Republicans failed to take him on "when the birtherism thing was going on." Birthers, including Trump, claimed that former President Barack Obama could not be president of the U.S., based on the false allegation that he had not been born in the country.

"Some people did stand up, but not enough," added Flake. "That was particularly ugly."

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