Jeff Flake Hints At 2020 Run, Calls On GOP to Forcefully Stand Up To Trump


Outgoing Republican Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake has not ruled out a run against President Donald Trump in 2020.

In an interview Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Flake said, “It’s not in my plans. But I have not ruled anything out.”

He added, “I do hope that somebody runs on the Republican side other than the president, if nothing else, simply to remind Republicans what conservatism is. And what Republicans have traditionally stood for.”

Flake argued that Republicans in Congress must “push back harder” if Trump seeks to shut down the Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

Flake accused Trump of “obviously probing the edges as much as he can to see how far Congress will go, and we’ve got to push back harder than we have.”

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The senator believes Trump was wrong to refer to the alleged FBI surveillance of his campaign as “spygate,” labeling it a “diversion tactic.”

“The president had this diversion tactic, obviously, with so-called ‘spygate,'” Flake said. “I don’t think any of us were referring to it in that way. But Republicans in Congress said no.”

He lauded those congressional Republicans who called for Democrats to be able to be briefed by the Justice Department last week on actions by the FBI, including the role of informants, during the 2016 presidential race.

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“When the president says things that are just totally wrong (referring to spygate), it’s the responsibility of members of Congress, particular those in the president’s party, to stand up and say, ‘That is not right. Truth is not relative,’” Flake said. “And I have seen instances where we haven’t done that well, and we’ve got to do it better.”

Flake has staked his ground, along with fellow Arizonan Sen. John McCain, as being among the harshest critics of the 45th president within the Republican ranks serving in Congress.

Flake announced his retirement last October as he faced the very likely prospect of being defeated in the Arizona Republican primary — and if he succeeded in becoming the party’s nominee, losing in the general election.

Polling last September showed Flake trailing former State Sen. Kelli Ward by more than 20 points in a Republican Party primary matchup.

A survey released last summer found Flake having the lowest approval rating of any senator up for re-election at just 18 percent.

Meanwhile, 62 percent of respondents said they disapproved of his performance.

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“This is the president’s party, and if you’re running in a primary right now and you stand up to the president, or stand up in some cases for empirical truth, then you have trouble in primaries,” Flake told “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd.

“And that’s no doubt. So, I do think, as we get through the primary season, perhaps, then many of my colleagues will find a voice, but right now, it’s difficult politically.”

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 2,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith