Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill. Photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

Senator Jeff Flake, who announced he's not running for reelection in Arizona the next cycle told Morning Joe one of the reasons he's standing down is because constituents see "not standing with the president is somehow not conservative…that's something that's got to change." Other thoughts from the Senator:

  • On a 2020 Flake run: He hedged. "That's a long way away," Flake told ABC's George Stephanopoulos.
  • On why he's done: Because he doesn't want to "cozy up to" Trump's "behavior" and because "I could not win in a Republican primary." He clarified, that level of whiplash for opposing Trump "may be more pronounced in Arizona than some other states."
  • On calling out Trump when he spreads lies: We must say, "this is speech that is reckless and it's undignified and until we do we are complicit in normalizing that kind of behavior."
  • On foreign policy: "We've got to have a foreign policy that's sober, predictable, and consistent."

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1 min ago - Axios on HBO

Preview: "Axios on HBO" interviews acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf

On the next episode of "Axios on HBO," acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf tells Axios co-founder Mike Allen why he "would be concerned" about Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in office.

Catch the full interview on Monday, August 17 at 11 p.m. ET/PT on all HBO platforms.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 20,755,406 — Total deaths: 752,225— Total recoveries: 12,917,934Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 5,246,760 — Total deaths: 167,052 — Total recoveries: 1,774,648 — Total tests: 64,831,306Map.
  3. Politics: House Democrats to investigate scientist leading "Operation Warp Speed" vaccine projectMcConnell announces Senate will not hold votes until Sept. 8 unless stimulus deal is reached.
  4. 2020: Biden calls for 3-month national mask mandateBiden and Harris to receive coronavirus briefings 4 times a week.
  5. States: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to drop lawsuit over Atlanta's mask mandate.
  6. Business: Why the CARES Act makes 2020 the best year for companies to lose money.
  7. Public health: Fauci's guidance on pre-vaccine coronavirus treatments Cases are falling, but don't get too comfortable.

Trump says he intends to give RNC speech on White House lawn

President Trump speaking to reporters on South Lawn in July. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump told the New York Post on Thursday that he plans to deliver his Republican National Convention speech from the White House lawn, despite bipartisan criticism of the optics and legality of the location.

Why it matters: Previous presidents avoided blurring staged campaign-style events — like party conventions — with official business of governing on the White House premises, per Politico.