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Flake to CBS anchor: I don’t think removing Trump is ‘the direction to go’

Greg Nash

Outgoing Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) on Tuesday told a CBS morning anchor that he is not leading an impeachment drive against President Trump.

CBS “This Morning” anchor Norah O’Donnell asked Flake if he thought Trump should be removed from office following his condemnation of the president on the Senate floor and in a Washington Post op-ed on Tuesday.

“You seem to be igniting a movement,” O’Donnell said. “You write [that] it is time to take a stand against Trump. If he is dangerous to democracy, as you say, should he be removed from office?”

Flake, who announced Tuesday he won’t seek reelection in 2018, responded by clarifying he isn’t leading an impeachment effort against the president.

“I don’t think any of those remedies are justified, I really don’t. High crimes, misdemeanors, people talk about impeachment on the left, I don’t think that’s the direction to go. Nor do I think the 25th Amendment is either,” Flake said.

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The 25th Amendment states that the vice president and a majority of Cabinet members can jointly declare that a president is unfit to serve. Two-thirds of both the House and Senate would have to vote to remove the president in the event the president refused to cede the Oval Office to the vice president.

“I do think members of Congress ought to speak out if the president follows through on some of the policies or threats he’s made with regard to the First Amendment, for example, or in terms of the tweets and just kind of the debasing statements that he’s made and also on the foreign stage,” he added.

“I think we need to be incredibly careful about what we’re doing and that’s what Bob Corker has expressed concern about.”

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who is also not running for reelection in 2018, targeted the president with similar comments on Tuesday.

The junior Arizona senator is conducting a media tour on Wednesday morning, which has included interviews on MSNBC, CNN, NBC and CBS.

Flake told The Arizona Republic on Tuesday that a primary campaign would force him to “condone behavior that I cannot condone.”

“The path that I would have to travel to get the Republican nomination is a path I’m not willing to take, and that I can’t in good conscience take,” Flake said. “It would require me to believe in positions I don’t hold on such issues as trade and immigration and it would require me to condone behavior that I cannot condone.”

Tags 25th Amendment Bob Corker CBS Impeachment Jeff Flake
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