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."

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Health

Fauci says if people won't wear masks, maybe it should be mandated

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Graeme Jennings- Pool/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told CNN on Friday evening that if "people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it."

Why it matters: Fauci made the comments the same day the U.S. hit its highest daily COVID-19 case count since the pandemic began.

Harris to Black voters: Casting a ballot is about honoring your ancestors

Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris speaks at a "Get Out The Vote" rally at Morehouse College. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Kamala Harris appealed to Black voters in Georgia on Friday, urging them to "honor the ancestors" by casting ballots, and again calling President Trump a "racist."

Why it matters: The U.S. saw a significant decline in African-American voter turnout between 2012 and 2016, reaching its lowest point since 2000. Higher turnout among Black Americans this year could tip the balance in favor of Democrats in key battleground states, including Georgia.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci: Trump hasn't been to a COVID task force meeting in months.
  2. Sports: The youth sports exodus continues — Big Ten football is back.
  3. Health: U.S. hits highest daily COVID-19 case count since pandemic began —AstraZeneca to resume vaccine trial in U.S.How to help save 130,000 lives.
  4. Retail: Santa won't greet kids at Macy's this year.
  5. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.