Former Maricopa County Sheriff and current Senate candidate Joe Arpaio suggested Sen. Jeff Flake, the senator whose seat he hopes to fill, may have committed treason Wednesday morning when he delivered a scathing rebuke of President Donald Trump.

[RELATED: Jeff Flake rips Trump: A president 'who cannot take criticism ... is charting a very dangerous path']

Arpaio also suggested curbing the First Amendment by saying there should be limits on criticizing elected officials.

"I don't know if Sen. Flake should make some comments against our commander in chief, I'm not saying, it could be considered by some a borderline treason type situation," Arpaio said Wednesday morning.

[WATCH RAW VIDEO or READ: Flake's speech on the Senate floor]

The controversial former lawman, who was convicted of criminal contempt of court and then pardoned by Trump, surprised many by throwing his hat into the ring for U.S. Senate.

[READ MORE: America's toughest senator? Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio announces run for Senate]

[WATCH RAW VIDEO: Arpaio discusses decision to run for Senate with Jason Barry]

[WATCH: Dennis Welch's first reaction]

In his announcement, Arpaio, who is 85, said he was running to advance Trump's "Make American Great Again" agenda.

[READ MORE: Joe Arpaio, controversial sheriff pardoned by Trump, enters AZ Senate race]

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona Politics]

He is running against former state lawmaker Kelli Ward and Congresswoman Martha McSally for the Republican nomination and may have offered the most spirited defense of the president.

[RELATED: Arpaio's decision to run shakes up Senate race in Arizona]

[RELATED: McSally launches Senate campaign in heated Arizona contest]

[VIDEO: Former state senator Kelli Ward has Trump's support]

Ward posted a statement on Twitter calling Flake's speech an "embarrassment” for (Arizona)," while Arpaio also called for limits on criticizing elected officials.

When asked if Flake and the public have the right to call out their government as well as their president, Arpaio responded by saying, "within reason."

.@JeffFlake’s appalling comparison of @realDonaldTrump to Soviet dictator Stalin on floor of the Senate today is an embarrassment to AZ. I call on all candidates seeking to replace him to join me in condemning it. @RealSheriffJoe @MarthaMcSally @kyrstensinema @deedra2018— Dr. Kelli Ward (@kelliwardaz) January 17, 2018
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Political Editor

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