Senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) appeared on Meet The Press with Chuck Todd on Sunday to discuss President Donald Trump’s Saturday night attacks on the media and the White House chaos over the last week.
During a campaign rally in Pennsylvania to help Republican House candidate Rick Saccone in his tight race against Democratic opponent Conor Lamb, Trump lashed out repeatedly at the media while saying nice things about North Korea and Kim Jong-Un.
Trump even called Meet The Press host Chuck Todd a “son of a bitch” in some of the most unpresidential language ever uttered.
On Sunday, Todd asked Flake about his thoughts on Trump’s attacks.
“Yeah, I don’t know where to start,” Flake began.
“I mean, on this free press thing. He’s done this before. He referred to the press as the enemy of the people. He stood next to Duterte as Duterte referred to the press as spies and laughed. Um, and it has an effect. Words matter. We had a record number of journalists being jailed overseas. Some on false news charges. Echoing the phrases that he uses. So I don’t think it’s a responsible thing to do. I really don’t.”
“We should never normalize this kind of behavior, particularly from the president of the United States,” Flake added. “So I think it does real damage long term to the political culture. It really does.”
The subject then turned to Trump’s planned meeting with Kim Jong-Un, which Flake called “worrisome” because North Korea has not earned a presidential meeting. A pre-condition for such a meeting was that North Korea would dismantle their nuclear program. That hasn’t happened, but Trump is giving Kim Jong-Un a meeting he and his father have wanted for decades.
Flake also expressed his opposition to Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs and the way he has been using exemptions as a way to punish and extort allies.
“You know, tariffs are awful,” he said “Tariffs married to uncertainty is probably even worse. And then to have a president in a position to say, “All right. Australia, all right. What are you going to do for me?” Or wake up one day and say, “You know, let’s impose more tariffs here or there,” that’s an awful situation to be.”
Todd then asked why Flake is leaving office.
“As a Republican who believes in free trade, limited government, economic freedom, I couldn’t be reelected in my party right now. Somebody who voices, you know, reservations about where the president is or criticizes his behavior like last night, it’s tough to be reelected in a Republican primary.”
Flake has been a vocal opponent of Trump since before the 2016 Election and even delivered a barn-burner speech on the Senate floor condemning Trump’s various attacks on the First Amendment and his outrageous behavior.
So, when Todd asked Flake if he thinks Republicans should challenge Trump in 2020, he had a simple answer.
“Yes, I do ― I do,” Flake said. “I mean, it would be a tough go in a Republican primary. The Republican Party is the Trump party right now. But that’s not to say it will stay that way.”
Here’s the video via YouTube.
Of course, it all depends on whether Trump even makes it to 2020. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is still investigating Trump’s connection to Russia and Trump has been plagued by scandal after scandal, including the recent Stormy Daniels scandal.
If it were up to Flake, Trump would probably be ousted from office already. Unfortunately, most of his fellow Republican colleagues lack a spine and are content with letting Trump destroy the government and the country as long as they get what they want from him in return.
Featured Image: YouTube screenshot