Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake announced on Twitter that he was donating to the campaign of Doug Jones, a Democrat running for Senate in Alabama's special election.
Flake, who announced that he'd be retiring in October with a speech largely rebuking what he described as attacks on democratic norms, even posted a picture of the check for some added flair. Quickly, his tweet went viral, receiving over 45,000 retweets and drawing responses from Senate colleagues and constituents alike.
"Country over party," Flake wrote with the picture of the check.
The decision to donate to a Democrat's campaign comes after Jones' opponent, Roy Moore, was accused of sexually inappropriate relationships with teenagers. One woman, Leigh Corfman, says Roy Moore made an advance on her when she was just 14 and Moore was 32. (Moore denies the allegation.)
In the wake of the allegations, Moore was repudiated by his own party. Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell said he believed the women. Ivanka Trump said "there is a special place in hell" for people who prey on young girls. The Republican National Committee initially pulled their funding for Moore. President Donald Trump, who has also been accused of sexual assault, refused to comment immediately after.
Since then, though, the tide has turned back in Moore's favor. McConnell is now adopting the line that the "voters in Alabama should decide." The RNC has begun funding Moore's campaign again. President Trump has offered full-throttle support, and Ivanka Trump has remained relatively quiet since her initial comments.
Even Republican Senators who don't support Moore, like Sen. Ben Sasse, expressed concern about Sen. Flake's tweet. Sen. Sasse called the RNC's renewed support for Moore "sad" and "bad," but he also called Sen. Flake's donation "a bad idea."
"This donation is a bad idea," Sen. Sasse wrote. "It's possible to be against BOTH partial abortion AND child molestation. Happily, most Americans are."
Sasse's tweet refers to Jones, Moore's opponent, who is pro-choice and repeatedly expressed support for women's right to an abortion. Later, though, Sasse began blasting the RNC for its support of Moore, and said that he "believes the women."
Other congressional leaders have repeated the line that "if the allegations are true" Moore should step aside, though none have explained how they might determine whether those allegations are true. Some have said it's "up to the voters of Alabama," which critics see as a dodge on the question of whether those voters should tolerate Moore's alleged transgressions.
Flake's response, though, is being heralded as a powerful and clear stance on the issue, and one that places trust in the women that have brought forth the allegations against Moore.