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Former GOP Sen. Jeff Flake says he will not vote for Trump

Former Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeFive reasons why US faces chronic crisis at border Senate GOP faces retirement brain drain Former GOP lawmaker: Republican Party 'engulfed in lies and fear' MORE (R-Ariz.) said in a new interview that he will not vote for President TrumpDonald TrumpFreedom Caucus member condemns GOP group pushing 'Anglo-Saxon political traditions' MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell's new free speech site to ban certain curse words Secret Facebook groups of special operations officers include racist comments, QAnon posts: report MORE in November, citing concerns going back before the 2016 campaign.

"I just couldn't support [Trump] long before he started to run. The birtherism thing was just too much for me. And then it piled on," Flake, a frequent critic of the president, told The Washington Post.

Flake also said that a second Trump term could turn younger voters away from the Republican Party, pointing to issues including immigration and the environment.

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"So for young people who've grown up around minorities or had a different experience than a lot of us in my generation, they don't harbor, I think, some of the prejudices that people in my generation do," Flake said.

He added that a Trump defeat November would be a "long-term" benefit for the Republican Party and "conservatism as well."

"This won't be the first time I've voted for a Democrat — though not for president. Last time I voted for a third-party candidate," he said. "But I will not vote for Donald Trump."

He also predicted that the GOP would change once Trump is out of the Oval Office.

"The pendulum swings when one party takes it too far," he said. "We'll be ourselves again."

Flake, 57, served in the Senate from 2013 to 2019, and was in the House of Representatives for six terms prior to that. 

As a senator, he criticized Trump on multiple issues, including the president's negative comments about the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainCongress brings back corrupt, costly, and inequitably earmarks Trump knocks CNN for 'completely false' report Gaetz was denied meeting The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - Biden, lawmakers start down a road with infrastructure MORE (R-Ariz.) in 2015.

Flake was also "shocked" to find out his friend and former House colleague, Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceSecret Facebook groups of special operations officers include racist comments, QAnon posts: report Oddsmakers say Harris, not Biden, most likely to win 2024 nomination, election Personal security costs for anti-Trump lawmakers spiked post-riot MORE, was nominated as Trump's running mate in 2016, according to Politico