Flake: McCain's voice was 'never more important' than in Trump era

Flake: McCain's voice was 'never more important' than in Trump era
© Greg Nash

Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeGrassley panel scraps Kavanaugh hearing, warns committee will vote without deal Coulter mocks Kavanaugh accuser: She'll only testify 'from a ski lift' Poll: More voters oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination than support it MORE (R-Ariz.) on Sunday said that the United States “certainly needed John McCainJohn Sidney McCainTrump hits McCain on ObamaCare vote GOP, White House start playing midterm blame game Arizona race becomes Senate GOP’s ‘firewall’ MORE’s voice over the past year” when asked whether President TrumpDonald John TrumpGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Health advocates decry funding transfer over migrant children Groups plan mass walkout in support of Kavanaugh accuser MORE being in the White House would make the loss of McCain more difficult.

Host Jake Tapper noted on CNN’s “State of the Union” that McCain didn’t invite Trump to his funeral and that the president once mocked McCain, who died from brain cancer at the age of 81, for being captured during the Vietnam War. Tapper asked Flake if Trump’s presence in the White House would make McCain “all the more missed.”

“We’ve certainly needed John McCain’s voice over the past year and despite the circumstances, we’ve had it,” Flake responded. “And I think we could do with this kind of approach to politics and we’d do well to remember John McCain and his legacy as we go forward. I know that’s what he would like.”

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Flake also referenced a conversation he had with McCain in February, when McCain “expressed optimism” about the future of the country’s leadership, according to Flake.

“He expressed optimism at that time that leaders would rise to the fore in the future who would put the good of the country above themselves,” Flake said. “So I think we ought to take that forward.”

McCain, who served in the Senate since 1987 and twice made bids for the presidency, died Saturday. His family announced Friday that he had chosen to discontinue treatment for an aggressive form of brain cancer.

Trump has criticized McCain since his time on the campaign trail, when he said McCain wasn’t a war hero because he was captured during the Vietnam War.

“I like people who weren’t captured,” Trump said.

Flake, a frequent critic of Trump, announced last year that he would not seek reelection to the Senate.