Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), shortly after announcing his retirement, gave a stunning speech on the Senate floor in which he condemned President Donald Trump’s behavior while in office — and said he represented a threat to the republic.
Flake, who faced the possibility of a primary challenge from the right over his criticism of Trump, once again called out Trump — as well as his fellow Republicans for trying to paper over their concerns with his behavior.
“Mr. President, I rise today to say, enough,” he said. “We must dedicate ourselves to making had sure that this does not become normal. We have fooled ourselves long enough that a pivot to governing is right around the corner. A return to civility and stability right behind it. We know better than that. By now we all know better than that.”
Flake said that too many within both the Republican Party and the conservative movement have excused Trump’s “reckless, outrageous, and undignified behavior” by claiming that the president is simply “telling it like it is.”
Flake also accused Trump of engaging in “the impulse to scapegoat and belittle,” which he said “threatens to turn us into a fearful, backward looking people.”
“In the case of the Republican Party, those things also threaten to turn us into a fearful, backward-looking minority party,” Flake said.