Bannon boosts Flake challenger, snubs Trump plea to back off

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Former presidential strategist Steve Bannon is rebuffing President Donald Trump’s plea for him to retreat in his war on the Republican establishment.

Bannon is personally boosting the candidacy of a challenger to incumbent Sen. Jeff Flake.

Bannon plans to appear with Arizona Senate candidate Kelli Ward on Tuesday as she announces another bid for the Senate, this time against freshman Flake. Ward lost last year to Republican Sen. John McCain, who went on to win a sixth term.

The pair will participate in a program headlined by conservative radio host Laura Ingraham in Scottsdale, Arizona, a day after the political action committee affiliated with Bannon said it would support Ward, a former Arizona state senator.