Flake says he won't back Roy Moore, citing Muslim remark

Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeMcSally takes hard line on immigration in Arizona primary Flake threatens to limit Trump court nominees: report Poll: McSally holds 14-point lead in Arizona GOP Senate primary MORE (R-Ariz.) told reporters Thursday that he will not support or endorse Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, citing his past comment that Muslims should not be allowed to serve in Congress.

“A guy who says that a Muslim member of Congress shouldn’t be able to serve, that’s not right," Flake reportedly said Thursday.

Moore, who is running in the special election to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions, was twice removed from his position as chief justice of Alabama's Supreme Court, once for refusing to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from courthouse grounds and once for telling lower judges to ignore the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage.

In 2006, the former judge took issue with Rep. Keith EllisonKeith Maurice EllisonFTC plans to reexamine how it polices tech companies The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — GOP lawmakers race to find an immigration fix Voters should keep eye on 2018 races for state attorneys general MORE (D-Minn.), the first Muslim in Congress, over his decision to take his oath of office on a Quran instead of a Bible.

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“In 1943, we would never have allowed a member of Congress to take their oath on ‘Mein Kampf,’ or someone in the 1950s to swear allegiance to the ‘Communist Manifesto,’ ” he wrote at the time. 

Moore has been a point of contention among Republicans since he became the party's Senate nominee after a hotly contested GOP primary, receiving a mix of endorsements and criticism from lawmakers in his party.

Sen. Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseGOP senators introduce bill to prevent family separations at border The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — Defiant Trump meets with House GOP amid border blowback Sasse: Trump should end 'wicked' family separation policy MORE (R-Neb.) this week also slammed Moore for his previous comments on Muslims, noting the United States Constitution stipulates that there is no religious test required to run for congressional office.

“You can’t have people running for office — I don’t know the particulars of what Moore has said — but as it’s been reported, you cant have people running for office saying that being a Muslim would be a disqualification for being in Congress. The constitution is pretty dang clear about not having a religious litmus test," Sasse told conservative writer Jonah Goldberg in an interview on the podcast "The Remnant."

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate left in limbo by Trump tweets, House delays The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — Immigration drama grips Washington Senate Gang of Four to meet next week on immigration MORE (R-Texas) praised Moore this week, calling him a "conservative who will proudly defend Alabama values" in a post on his website.