Sen. Flake warns that President Trump will face primary opponent in 2020 'if he continues on the path' he's on

Sen. Jeff Flake warned that President Trump will face a primary challenge or an independent opponent in 2020 if the Republican continues his bombastic ways.

“I do believe if the president is running for re-election, if he continues on the path that he's on, that that's going to leave a huge swath of voters looking for someone else,” Flake (R-Ariz.) said in an interview with ABC News’ “This Week” that aired Sunday.

“I think he’s inviting that. He’s probably inviting a Republican challenge as well.”

But will that challenger by Flake, who’s previously bashed the President and set to retire at the end of 2018?

“I don't rule anything out but it's not in my plans,” a coy Flake said.

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Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) questions Supreme Court nominee judge Neil Gorsuch during his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 21, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) talks to reporters as he arrives for a Senate health care vote on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 27, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) laughs with fellow subcommittee member Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) (L) at the Senate Foreign Relations' Western Hemisphere Subcommittee hearing on President Barack Obama's changes to Cuba policy in Washington February 3, 2015. REUTERS/Gary Cameron (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 19: (AFP OUT) Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) (L) and Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) (R) attend a lunch with members of Congress hosted by US President Donald J. Trump (not pictured) in the State Dining Room of the White House on July 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Michael Reynolds - Pool/Getty Images)
MESA, AZ - APRIL 13: U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) speaks at a town hall event at the Mesa Convention Center on April 13, 2017 in Mesa, Arizona. It was the first such event this year for Flake, who is up for re-election in 2018, as Republican lawmakers across the country have been confronted with angry voters in similar settings. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MAY 25: Sens. Tim Kaine, D-Va., right, and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., conduct a news conference in the Capitol to introduce an authorization for use of military force (AUMF) against ISIS, al-Qaeda, and the Taliban on May 25, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
MESA, AZ - APRIL 13: U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) speaks at a town hall event as critics show their displeasure at the Mesa Convention Center on April 13, 2017 in Mesa, Arizona. It was the first such event this year for Flake, who is up for re-election in 2018, as Republican lawmakers across the country have been confronted with angry voters in similar settings. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 9: Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) speaks with reporters after a vote at the U.S. Capitol, May 9, 2016, in Washington, DC. Senate Democrats defeated a procedural vote on an energy bill, which increases funding for the Department of Energy and Army Corps of Engineers. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - APRIL 25 - Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., checks out Adaeze, a one and a half year old Cheetah, from the Leo Zoo, in Greenwich, Ct., along with Marcella Leone, from the Leo Zoo, middle, and Dr. Laurie Marker, Founder and Executive Director of Cheetah Conservation Fund, in Nambia, left, following a briefing on 'Combating Threats to the Cheetah, Africa's Most Endangered Big Cat, on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Monday, April 25, 2016. The briefing, led by House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., and Sen. Flake, comes as the Senate prepares to consider legislation on the 'destructive practice of wildlife poaching and trafficking.' Joining Adaeze on the table is Odie, a Australian Shepherd. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)
Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) talks to reporters as he arrives for a Senate health care vote on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 27, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) departs after a briefing by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the ongoing fight against the Islamic State, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., August 2, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
U.S. Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) announces he will not seek re-election as he speaks on the floor of the Senate in this still image taken from video on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 24, 2017. REUTERS/Senate TV via
U.S. Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) faces reporters after announcing he will not run for reelection on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 24, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Senator Jeff Flake, a Republican from Arizona, speaks during an interview on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017. Flake announced he won't seek re-election and then delivered a blistering attack on�Donald Trump�on the Senate floor, the second GOP senator to publicly excoriate the president on the�day the party wanted to put a proposed tax overhaul at the forefront. Photographer: Olivier Douliery/Bloomberg via Getty Images
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 07: Sens. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., left, and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., make their way to a Hurricane Harvey aid related vote in the Capitol on September 7, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 24: Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and his wife Cheryl Flake leave the U.S. Capitol as they are trailed by reporters, October 24, 2017 in Washington, DC. Flake announced that he will not be seeking re-election and he will leave the Senate after his term ends in 14 months. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 24: Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., is seen in the Capitol on the day he announced he will not be running for re-election on October 24, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 18: Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., talk as Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Full committee hearing on 'Oversight of the U.S. Department of Justice' on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
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The junior senator for Arizona has been critical about the path his party is taking.

He pointed to rallies Trump and other firebrand conservatives, where the audiences are like “spasms of a dying party.”

“When you look at the lack of diversity, sometimes, and it depends on where you are, obviously, but by and large, we're appealing to older white men and there are just a limited number of them, and anger and resentment are not a governing philosophy,” he said in the interview.

Flake said his faith in the GOP was restored when Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore lost in a special election earlier this month despite having Trump’s endorsement.

The lawmaker wrote a $100 check to his Democratic opponent, Doug Jones, and refused to back Moore, who was accused of sexual misconduct with several teenage girls when he was in his 30s.

Moore’s defeat, he told “This Week,” that “maybe we can turn back.”

“But if we continue to go down that path, just to drill down on the base, I think you'll have a lot of people realize there is no future for them in this party,” he said. “I hope, like I said, with the election results in Alabama, that maybe the party's realizing that, we have to change.”

Flake also said he hopes the defeat would marginalize former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, who pushed for Moore’s candidacy.

“The last thing we need is to push that ultra nationalist, ethno-nationalist, protectionist element of the party,” Flake told ABC News. “It's not good for us.”

Since Trump took office nearly a year ago, Flake has been one of the more critical voices within the commander-in-chief’s own party.

While Flake said he’s willing to work with the President in some instances, he said it’s necessary to call Trump out on his questionable statements.

“When we undermine them by talking about alternative facts or talking about statements that are just demonstrably false...that’s just not good. and that’s just not right,” he said.

But Flake declined to directly answer when asked if he’d call the President a flat-out “liar.”

“We can all choose our own words,” he said. “And I’d not use that word.”

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