ARIZONA NEWS

Sen. Jeff Flake calls upon members of Congress to stand up to Trump

May 27, 2018, 2:03 PM | Updated: May 28, 2018, 12:27 pm

PHOENIX – U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) expressed his concern with members of Congress for their unwillingness to stand up to President Donald Trump during an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.

“When the president says things that are totally wrong its the responsibility of the members of congress, particularly those in the presidents party, to stand up and say ‘That is not right, truth is not relative,'” Flake said. “There are no alternative facts here and I have seen instances where we haven’t done that well and we’ve got to do it better.”

Flake and Trump have had their fair share of sparring matches in the form of social media posts and speeches in recent months.

One of the most notable came from the senator on the Senate floor, where Flake drew attention to the long-term danger of the president’s attacks on the media could cause the United States.

Flake expressed concern Sunday about the recent shakeups in the White House, something he and some other lawmakers believe could be paving the way for Trump to fire special counsel Robert Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Mueller has been investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Rosenstein oversees the investigation.

“There is concern that the president is laying the ground work to move on Mueller or Rosenstein and if that were to happen that would cause a constitutional crisis,” Flake said. “I have been concerned that we haven’t spoken loudly enough and told the president ‘You simply can’t go there.’

“He’s obviously probing the edges as much as he can to see how far Congress will go.”

Flake, who announced last year he would be retiring in large part due to the “Trump factor,” said he believes part of the reason for the lack of pushback from other members of Congress could be largely in part of the ongoing primaries.

“This is the president’s party and if you are running in a primary right now and you stand up to the president or in some cases for empirical truth, then you have trouble in primaries, that’s no doubt,” Flake said.

“I do think as we get through the primary season that many of my colleagues will find a voice.”

Flake has not ruled out a presidential run in 2020, but continued to emphasize that it is not in his current plans.

He remains hopeful, however, for someone from the Republican Party to challenge Trump in the next election.

“I do hope that somebody runs on the Republican side other than the president,” Flake said. “If nothing else, simply to remind Republicans what conservatism is and what Republicans have traditionally stood for.”

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Sen. Jeff Flake calls upon members of Congress to stand up to Trump