Breitbart trumpets Flake's retirement

Former Trump adviser Stephen Bannon’s Breitbart News is taking credit for Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeGOP lawmakers stick to Trump amid new criticism Kelly holds double-digit lead over McSally in Arizona: poll Trump asserts his power over Republicans MORE’s (R-Ariz.) Tuesday announcement that he won’t seek reelection in 2018. 

“Winning: Flake Out” read a flashing top story on 

Bannon parted ways with the White House in August and immediately returned to his former position as chief executive of Breitbart News. 

Flake, one of President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE’s loudest GOP critics, announced he would retire from the Senate following this term in an interview with The Arizona Republic.

Flake gave a scathing critique of Trump from the Senate floor minutes after the announcement, decrying “coarseness of our dialogue with the tone set up at the top.”


The Breitbart story cites a JMC Analytics Poll that was provided exclusively to the outlet on Aug. 28 showing Flake trailing primary challenger Kelli Ward by 26 points. Another poll from the firm HighGround showed Flake trailing by 14 points. 

Bannon endorsed Ward last week at an campaign event in Scottsdale, Ariz. 

“It’s an open revolt, and it should be,” Bannon said last Wednesday before introducing Ward. “These people hold you in total contempt. They think you’re a group of morons.” 

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Bannon also told Arizonans that Flake “probably in his gut … doesn’t like you.”

Bannon told “60 Minutes” on CBS last month that establishment candidates such as Flake needed to be “put on notice,” and that he was going to war against them.

“They’re not going to help you unless they’re put on notice. They’re going to be held accountable if they do not support the president of the United States,” Bannon told Charlie RoseCharles Peete RoseIranian official maintains Tehran has ‘no knowledge’ of American hostage’s whereabouts ‘Bombshell’ bombing at box office isn’t exactly a shock — here’s why ’60 Minutes’ producer alleges CBS News retaliated after she reported inappropriate behavior MORE. “Right now there’s no accountability. They have totally — they do not support the president’s program. It’s an open secret on Capitol Hill. Everybody in this city knows it.” 

“And so therefore, now that you’re out of the White House, you’re going to war with them?” Rose asked. 

“Absolutely,” Bannon replied. 

Breitbart’s official twitter feed also was celebratory, sharing a tweet that repeatedly read “WINNING” in all-caps with its 850,000 followers.

Flake told The Arizona Republic on Tuesday that running in the state’s GOP primary would force him to “condone behavior that I cannot condone.”

“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 said. “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.”