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President Jeff Flake? Arizona senator not ruling out 2020 presidential run

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., talks with media as he boards the subway on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

PHOENIX — U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake has already decided that he will not seek reelection in 2018, but are plans to seek a higher office in his future?

In an interview with ABC’s “This Week,” Flake said he is not ruling out a presidential run in 2020, but clarified that it is not in his plans at the moment.

“I don’t rule anything out, but it’s not in my plans,” he said.

While Flake’s name may not be on the ticket in 2020, the Arizona senator said the Republican ticket could become more vulnerable if President Donald Trump “continues on the path that he’s on.”

“I do believe if the president is running for reelection, if he continues on the path that he’s on, that that’s gonna leave a huge swath of voters looking for something else,” Flake said, adding that Trump is “probably inviting a Republican challenge as well. But certainly an independent challenge.”

Flake announced in October that he would not seek reelection next year, citing the “Trump factor” as a big reason why.

The Arizona senator has been staunchly outspoken about Trump, leading to several public feuds between the two. In his Sunday interview, Flake admitted that his opposition to some of the president’s actions would’ve made a 2018 campaign more difficult.

“Running in a Republican primary in Arizona is a daunting task,” he said. “There’s a very, very narrow path, unless you’re willing to embrace the president and condone his behavior, and I’m not willing to do that.”

So far, the only Republican name on the ticket is former state Sen. Kelli Ward, who has offered high praises about the president and reportedly “exchanged pleasantries” with him over the Christmas weekend.

U.S. Rep. Martha McSally has been long rumored to enter the race, and was even called one of the top Senate recruits by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, but has not announced her official campaign yet.

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