Sen. Jeff Flake's sudden announcement that he would not seek re-election in 2018 is energizing the far right, who are seeing what they hope to be the beginnings of a moderate purge of the party.
Conservative radio host Sean Hannity declared Tuesday that he welcomes a civil war within the Republican Party to weed out politicians who he feels have impeded President Donald Trump's agenda.
"Snowflake Flake, you know what — fake Flake, you ought to just — you are a snowflake," Hannity said. "Why don’t you just resign today? And let's get somebody that can do the job. Let’s get somebody that will fight. Let’s get somebody whose word is their bond and they mean what they say."
He added: "Do you think your little speech on the Senate hurts anybody’s feelings? I’m ecstatic. I’m glad you’re gone. And let me tell you something. Fake Flake is lying to everybody. The reason he’s leaving is because he was getting his ass kicked by Dr. Kelli Ward, who I supported the last time she ran."
Hannity played edited footage of Flake delivering his speech, but with baby noises transposed over the actual rhetoric.
"He’s trying to turn himself into a martyr. You’re not a martyr. You’re a useless, do-nothing senator from Arizona who couldn’t get the job done," Hannity said.
Later that night, on his TV show, Hannity called Flake a "pathetic, weak, gutless, spineless, never-Trumper."
Flake wasn't the only Republican senator who Hannity targeted in his rant. He also included a number of senators who have been accused of harshness toward Trump, including Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Bob Corker of Tennessee, John Cornyn of Texas, John McCain of Arizona, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Ben Sasse of Nebraska.
Another far right talking head, Laura Ingraham, already took to Twitter to insult the senator and refer to him as "Melted Snow Flake."