Politics

Outgoing GOP Senator Jeff Flake Eviscerates Trump, Compares Him to Stalin

Outgoing Republican Senator Jeff Flake Ripped President Trump a new one during a Senate floor speech on Wednesday.

Senator Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) went forward with his planned speech, lobbing verbal bombshells  at the President from the Senate floor. After excerpts of the speech were leaked, everyone knew Flake planned to lambaste President Trump. Among other accusations and insults, Flake likened Trump to a modern Josef Stalin and called for Congress to keep the President in check.

While Flake has been critical of the President in the past, the incendiary speech takes things to a whole new level. Indeed, at times Flake implied that Congress must act to restrain the President. A number of Democrats and 41% of voters believe that Congress should start the impeachment process against President Trump. Before giving his speech, however, Flake made it clear that he was not in favor of impeaching the President but that Trump’s attacks on the Press were dangerous.

“No longer can we compound attacks on truth with our silent acquiescence. No longer can we turn a blind eye or a deaf ear to these assaults on our institutions,”- Jeff Flake

Trump’s relationship with traditional news outlets has been quite contentious, to say the least. Trump has labeled many mainstream outlets as “fake news” and has otherwise maintained a chilly relationship with the press. Trump held only one press conference in his first year. In comparison, President Obama held seven press conferences while Reagan held six.

Jeff Flake is a Republican but is also one of the strongest critics of President Trump. Flake refused to support President Trump even after he locked down the Republican nomination. Along with fellow Arizona Republican Senator John McCain, Flake has frequently criticized the president. Flake has announced that he will not seek reelection in 2018.

“An American president who cannot take criticism — who must constantly deflect and distort and distract — who must find someone else to blame — is charting a very dangerous path. And a Congress that fails to act as a check on the President adds to the danger.” -Jeff Flake

Flake also claims that the “president’s party” should be ashamed of the Trump’s ‘repulsive’ statements. According to leaked excerpts, Flake views the Republican Party itself as “enablers” that are enabling Trump’s bad behavior. Some fellow Republicans have already fired back, defending both the President and the Party.

Flake has even gone as far as to write a book entitled Conscience of a Conservative: A Rejection of Destructive Politics and a Return to Principle. The book is largely an attack on President Trump and the ‘populist’ movement that he spawned. According to Flake, Trump and his supporters have abandoned core principles for short-term political expediency.

“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.” -Excerpt of Flake’s speech.

While writing his book, Flake claimed that Conservatism was “in crisis.” Flake also believes that Trump’s populist style will remain a flash in the pan. Discussing the topic, Flake argued that Trump’s strategy was a “sugar high of populism, nativism, and demagoguery. The crash from this sugar high will be particularly unpleasant.”

Trump stirred up the pot again in recent days, labeling the left-leaning Wall Street Journal a source of “fake news.” The vitriol came after the Wall Street Journal released a quote of the president saying “I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong-un of North Korea.” The President claims that he said, “I’d probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong-un of North Korea.”

“It is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own President uses words infamously spoken by Joseph Stalin to describe his enemies,” – Jeff Flake

Audio recordings of the conversation do seem to suggest that Trump said “I.” Regardless, it may have been a simple slip of the tongue with the president likely meaning “I’d.” The fact that such a seemingly mundane conversational slip-up could spark the outbreak of a flame war between President Trump and the Wall Street Journal is a testament to the times.

Brian Brinker

Brian Brinker is a political consultant and has an M.A in Global Affairs from American University.

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