Arpaio: Flake's anti-Trump speech could be seen as 'treason-type situation'

Former Maricopa County Sherrif Joe Arpaio, who is running 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.) seat, said the speech this week from the Arizona Republican sharply criticizing 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 on the Senate floor could be considered “a borderline treason-type situation.”

“I don’t know if Sen. Flake should make some comments against our commander in chief. I’m not saying — it could be considered by some a borderline treason-type situation. I’m not accusing him of that,” Arpaio told CBS-5 in Phoenix on Wednesday. 

Arpaio went on to say that Flake and the public have the right to call out the president and the government “within reason.” 

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{monads}Arpaio — like Trump, one of the more vocal advocates of the “birther” movement that pushed the idea that former President Obama was not born in the U.S. — told NBC News earlier on Wednesday that he was not flat-out accusing Flake of treason. 

“It’s almost like on the borderline — I’m not accusing him of treason,” he said. “But you know, you have to be careful how you go after our commander in chief because the whole world is watching.”

Flake, who is not running for reelection this year, earlier Wednesday delivered a blistering speech condemning Trump’s treatment of the news media. 

The retiring senator, who has proven to be one of Trump’s most outspoken GOP critics, went as far as comparing the president to former Soviet Union leader Josef Stalin. 

Arpaio, 85, was one of the president’s staunchest political allies during the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump pardoned the former sheriff last fall after he was convicted of criminal contempt for disobeying a court order on his controversial immigration patrols.

Arpaio’s Republican opponent, Kelli Ward, 48, also slammed Flake’s speech, calling it in a tweet an “embarrassment.”  

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