Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., on Sunday criticized President Trump for calling lawmakers "clowns and losers," which he explained isn't the right way to woo Congress to one's side.

"Referring to our colleagues across the aisle as losers or clowns is not the direction to go," Flake told NBC's "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd.

"If we're going to fix the big things ... that has to be done with both Republicans and Democrats," the senator added.

Flake, who has a new book out and is up for re-election in 2018, began ratcheting up criticism of the White House just before leaving for the month-long August recess.

He told Todd that he thinks the president is moving the right direction on regulation, but that he will most likely vote against him on trade policy.