Former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) on Friday blasted former President Jimmy Carter for challenging the legitimacy of Donald Trump’s presidency because of Kremlin interference in the 2016 election.

Flake, who announced his retirement from the Senate in 2017 after half-hearted and ineffective opposition to some presidential policies, tweeted that challenging Trump’s right to be in the White House was “awful.” Twitter foes had a difficult time swallowing the flip-flopping Republican’s self-righteousness.

This is an awful thing for one American President to say about another. Argue that he shouldn't be reelected, sure, but don't say that he wasn't legitimately elected.

— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) June 28, 2019

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation found that Russia waged a “sweeping and systematic” influence campaign during the 2016 presidential election with the goal of electing Trump, who still failed to win the popular vote.

“There’s no doubt that the Russians did interfere in the election,” Carter said Friday at the Carter Center’s retreat in Virginia. “I think the interference … if fully investigated would show that Trump actually didn’t win the election in 2016 …. He was put into office because the Russians interfered on his behalf.”

Asked if he thought Trump was an “illegitimate president,” Carter responded: “Based on what I just said, which I can’t retract.”

Flake’s foes on Twitter weren’t too broken up about his offended sensibilities.

Real Presidents don’t like illegitimate ones.

— alex oddie (@alexoddie) June 28, 2019

Ummm Jeff -what about eight years of #Birtherism

— Sharon Dennis (@sddphoto) June 29, 2019

Have u seen what trump says about Obama

— Sarah Cooper (@sarahcpr) June 28, 2019

The truth never mattered much to you, did it, Flake?

— Peter Merlin Cane (@PeterMerlinCane) June 28, 2019

*sigh* sit this one out, Jeff. Just like you sat out anything involving integrity in the Senate.

— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) June 28, 2019

You’ve just asked President Carter to keep silent and pretend he believes something he knows isn’t true. That might work in #CorruptGOP Land, but it won’t work on #JimmyCarter.

— #MommyJones (@abracadabraNY) June 28, 2019

They aren’t even hiding it, so you venal cowards can go ahead and drop the pretense. #TrumpRussia #Traitors #Propagandists #Putinists #GOP

— 🏝 Kim (@kim) June 28, 2019

Not everyone likes you Jeff. Hell, I don't. but if Jimmy Carter, a former President wants to tell it like it is, then back the hell up.He has no fear of you or anyone else. He's a national treasure.You on the other hand are not.

— @SaysDana (@SaysDana) June 28, 2019

Jimmy is trying to save the country. What are you doing to help? Head buried in sand. Must be hard to breathe down there.

— Susan R Schwaiger (@SchwaigerSusan) June 29, 2019

have you read the Mueller report?

— Another Space Cowboy (@AnitherSpace) June 28, 2019

Um, Jimmy Carter merely spoke the truth. He truly wasn’t legitimately elected. Don’t come for Jimmy Carter.

— Ashlee Willis (@ashlee__willis) June 29, 2019 Download REAL LIFE. REAL NEWS. REAL VOICES. Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard. Join HuffPost Plus

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