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Sen. Flake: I Would Not Vote to Impeach Trump

Sen. Flake: I Would Not Vote to Impeach Trump

By    |   Wednesday, 17 January 2018 09:48 AM

Sen. Jeff Flake has been a frequent critic of President Donald Trump's over the past year, but he said Wednesday he wouldn't vote to impeach him.

"I would vote no," the Arizona Republican told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. "I don't think that the president has committed impeachable offenses."

Flake has planned a speech on Wednesday to speak out against Trump's treatment of the press, and told the program that he does not like some of Trump's behavior, but "I don't think he's committed impeachable offenses and I never have."

The senator's upcoming speech has gotten a great deal of advance press because of an excerpt protesting Trump's use of the phrase "enemy of the people" when talking about the press, and comparing the president's language to that used by Soviet Union dictator Joseph Stalin.

"That's been most of the focus when I released just an excerpt pointing that out that an American president shouldn't be using a term so associated with a maniacal killer like Stalin," said Flake.

"I don't make comparisons between Trump and Stalin. I'm just saying an American president shouldn't be using that language because it is so fraught with malice, as you mentioned."

The president's claims of "fake news" also are being picked up by authoritarians around the world, said Flake, and "they're now using fake news as justification for jailing journalists, 262 jailed just this past year. That's a record."

Flake said he's also concerned about some of Trump's statements over the past year that have not been truthful.

"Some of the things the president says talking about the crowd size or whatnot whether it is true is relatively trivial, but some things are not as trivial," said Flake. "to talk about our elections being rigged or, you know, widespread abuse in our election system, that has real consequences. . . that will outlast the presidency."

Trump also has called the matter of Russian interference in the 2016 election a hoax, said Flake, "and it wasn't. Russia did try to intervene in our elections."

Flake is not seeking re-election, and said Wednesday that he believes lawmakers should speak up when they know something is not right, including Trump's reported comments about African countries.

"We deal with 54 countries in Africa that we need to have security arrangements with, intelligence sharing with," he said. "It makes it very difficult to do so after language like that is reported. So, I can't speak for anyone else, but for myself, I'll speak out."

Flake, though, defended his votes in favor of some of Trump's agenda items, saying that he votes as a conservative.

"I voted some 30 times to repeal and replace Obamacare," said Flake. "If people expect me to change my vote simply because I have disagreements with the president on an issue like that, they'll be disappointed."

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Although Sen. Jeff Flake has been a frequent critic of President Donald Trump's, he said Wednesday he wouldn't vote to impeach him.
jeff flake, trump, impeachment, critic
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2018-48-17
Wednesday, 17 January 2018 09:48 AM
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