Jeff Flake

Bonus Quote of the Day

“Our presidency has been debased by a figure who has a seemingly bottomless appetite for destruction and division and only a passing familiarity with how the Constitution works. And our Article I branch of government, the Congress is utterly supine in the face of the moral vandalism that flows from the White House daily.”

— Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), quoted by the Daily Beast, in an advanced copy of the commencement address for Harvard School of Law.

Flake Would Support Impeachment If Trump Fires Mueller

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) told the Washington Post that he would support impeachment proceedings against President Trump if the president ends special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election “without cause.”

Said Flake: “We’re begging him: ‘Don’t go down this road. Don’t create a constitutional crisis. Don’t force the Congress to take the only remedy that Congress can take. To remind the president of that is the best way to keep him from going down that road. To fire Mueller without cause, I don’t know if there is any other remedy left to the legislative branch.”

Flake Eyes a Presidential Bid

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) “has a direct message for the Republicans of New Hampshire: Someone needs to stop Donald Trump. And Flake, a Republican senator from Arizona, may stand up against the Republican president in 2020 — either as a Republican or an independent — if no one else does,” the AP reports.

Said Flake: “It’s not in my plan to run for president, but I am not ruling it out. Somebody needs to stand up for traditional Republicanism. Somebody needs to raise that, for nothing else than to give people hope that that decent party will be back. We’ll get through this.”

Flake Says Romney Could Create New ‘Power Center’

Retiring Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) told Roll Call that the Senate needs someone like Mitt Romney to be an “independent voice.”

Said Flake: “We need Mitt Romney in the Senate. We need an independent voice, somebody who will enter the Senate chamber with immediate gravitas and someone who can work across the aisle, and actually, I think, create a whole new power center in the Senate. I think that’s desperately needed.”

Flake Will Compare Trump to Stalin In Speech

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) “is planning to slam President Trump’s attacks on the press on the Senate floor this week in a speech that will compare the president’s use of the term ‘enemy of the people’ to describe the media to Soviet dictator Josef Stalin,” NBC News reports.

From excerpts: “When a figure in power reflexively calls any press that doesn’t suit him ‘fake news,’ it is that person who should be the figure of suspicion, not the press.”

Letters to Jeff Flake

Jeff Flake: “I can say that reading these letters has been one of the most humbling experiences of my public life. To be clear: I don’t find them humbling because the people who wrote to me liked the speech. Indeed, some didn’t. I am humbled because until now I didn’t fully grasp the level of anxiety and real pain that exists across the country due to the state of our national leadership.”

“These writers despair not just for the chaos emanating from the White House, but for the moral vandalism that has been set loose in our culture, as well as the seeming disregard for the institutions of American democracy. The damage to our democracy seems to come daily now, most recently with the president’s venting late last week that if he had his way, he would hijack the American justice system to conduct political prosecutions — a practice that only happens in the very worst places on earth. And as this behavior continues, it is not just our politics being disfigured, but the American sense of well-being and time-honored notions of the common good.”

“Every president has made poor decisions and every president has at some time or other been judged to be taking us down the wrong path. But such judgments have always been accompanied by a sense that better choices and more appropriate behavior would be forthcoming. I wish I could say that is the case here. But if we are honest with ourselves, we all know that things will not improve.”

Flake Won’t Rule Out Presidential Bid

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) refused to rule out mounting a bid to unseat President Trump in 2020, insisting that such a decision is “a long way away,” Politico reports.

Said Flake: “That’s a long way away. I’m focused on my next 14 months in the senate, making sure that we get some good policy, there are some things that I want to accomplish in the short term.”

For members: Why Trump Will Probably Face a Primary Challenge

Flake Says There’s No Place for ‘a Republican Like Me’

Just before Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) announced he would not run for re-election, he told the Arizona Republic that “there may not be a place for a Republican like me in the current Republican climate or the current Republican Party.”

Said Flake: “Here’s the bottom line: The path that I would have to travel to get the Republican nomination is a path I’m not willing to take, and that I can’t in good conscience take… It would require me to believe in positions I don’t hold on such issues as trade and immigration, and it would require me to condone behavior that I cannot condone.”

Flake also has an op-ed in the Washington Post:

There is a sickness in our system — and it is contagious. How many more disgraceful public feuds with Gold Star families can we witness in silence before we ourselves are disgraced? How many more times will we see moral ambiguity in the face of shocking bigotry and shrug it off? How many more childish insults do we need to see hurled at a hostile foreign power before we acknowledge the senseless danger of it? How much more damage to our democracy and to the institutions of American liberty do we need to witness in silence before we count ourselves as complicit in that damage?

Flake Will Not Run for Re-Election

“Condemning the nastiness of Republican politics in the era of President Trump, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) on Tuesday announced he will serve out the remainder of his term but will not seek re-election in 2018,” the Arizona Republic reports.

“The bombshell… will further roil Republican hopes of keeping the party’s 52-seat Senate majority in the midterm elections of Trump’s first term, when the president’s party historically loses seats in Congress.”

The Perils of Crossing Trump

New York Times: “Mr. Flake is perhaps the most endangered Senate Republican, with an approval rating in one recent poll of just 18 percent among Arizonans. Mr. Trump has savaged Mr. Flake as ‘toxic’ and a ‘flake,’ and has encouraged a primary challenge against him that has left the senator squeezed not only from the left but also the right. His fate is an object lesson for other Republicans who might consider voicing dire thoughts about the president’s fitness: Cross Mr. Trump, and your political career could well be over.”