One of Donald Trump’s most generous political benefactors is providing a six-figure donation to a super PAC devoted to unseating Sen. Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican who has been fiercely critical of the president.
Robert Mercer, a reclusive hedge fund billionaire who was intimately involved in Trump’s rise and helped to bankroll his 2016 campaign, is contributing $300,000 to a super PAC supporting former state Sen. Kelli Ward, who is challenging Flake in a Republican primary next year.
It’s the latest sign that Trump’s political machine is preparing to take on Flake, whose persistent attacks have angered the president. The White House has met with Ward and two other Republicans who are mulling primary challenges to the Arizona senator, state Treasurer Jeff DeWit and former state GOP Chairman Robert Graham.
A longtime Trump critic, Flake has made waves with the release of his new book, “Conscience of a Conservative.” He argues that his party is in denial about the Trump presidency and blames the GOP for his rise. Over the past week, Flake has launched a national TV tour in which he’s made the case that his party has taken the wrong course.