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Sen. Jeff Flake: I Agree With Trump in Several Areas

Image: Sen. Jeff Flake: I Agree With Trump in Several Areas
(Michael Reynolds - Pool/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 24 August 2017 10:40 AM

Sen. Jeff Flake, who has come under fire from President Donald Trump in recent weeks, said Thursday he was glad that the president came to Arizona and visited the border, and insisted there are many areas where he and Trump agree.

"We in Arizona have been working to get a secure border for years," the Arizona Republican told Fox News' "Fox & Friends" program. "It's great to have the president go down and see the actual conditions on the border."

Flake also said he was happy to help move Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Justice Neil Gorsuch, through the Senate, and noted that Arizona also is finally working with federal agencies on regulatory issues.

"Arizona is 85 percent publicly owned between the federal government, state government, and tribal government," said Flake. "When the federal government makes decisions it has an impact here, so those regulatory changes and working with the agencies have been great."

Flake said he also believes the president's instincts on tax policy are good, but he disagrees "significantly" with him on trade.

"NAFTA has been good for Arizona," said Flake. "I hope that we can modernize the agreement, but keep it in place."

Flake said he also does not think the United States should have left the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, and he does disagree with Trump on tone.

"I think that we're going to need to achieve conservative ends by getting a hold of our debt and deficit," said Flake. "We have to work with our colleagues across the aisle and tone means a lot then."

Flake said he does not know why he and Trump are having issues, as he will work and vote with the president when he thinks he's right. However, he said he'll challenge him when he thinks he's wrong.

"That's what I've done with every president, Republican or Democrat," said Flake. "I didn't always vote with George W. Bush. I voted against the prescription drug benefit or No Child Left Behind. But I worked with him on most things. I think that's what Arizona voters expect me to do."

Meanwhile, on the border issue, Flake said Arizona needs a secure border, and he's looking forward to working with Trump on that.

Trump, however, tweeted on the day after his appearance in Phoenix that he does not like Flake, and accused him of being weak on the border.

Flake pointed out that a bipartisan bill that passed in 2013 included 700 miles of new fencing, doubled the amount of border patrol officers and required new equipment, said Flake and "a lot of infrastructure on the board, which we desperately need.

"I would invite the president to come with me to other areas of the border like near Douglass, where you have a watershed that flows northward," said Flake. "If you have a wall like some envisioned, a brick-and-mortar wall, it wouldn't allow water to flow through. You have to have stormgates. And if we work with ranchers, property owners on the border, they know what's needed there, and that's what we've been trying to do over the years in Arizona."

However, he said he does not agree with Trump about a government shutdown over the wall funding issue, as "that never ends well."

There is agreement that a border is needed, said Flake, but "not just to fulfill a campaign promise of a wall that, you know, it doesn't make sense in certain areas, certainly in Arizona. I would love to show the president those areas."

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Sen. Jeff Flake, who has come under fire from President Donald Trump in recent weeks, said Thursday he was glad that the president came to Arizona and visited the border, and insisted there are many areas where he and Trump agree.
jeff flake, agree, donald trump
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2017-40-24
Thursday, 24 August 2017 10:40 AM
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