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

Former Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeCheney clashes with Trump Sessions-Tuberville Senate runoff heats up in Alabama GOP lawmakers stick to Trump amid new criticism MORE (R-Ariz.) said in a new interview that he will not vote for President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse panel approves 0.5B defense policy bill House panel votes against curtailing Insurrection Act powers after heated debate House panel votes to constrain Afghan drawdown, ask for assessment on 'incentives' to attack US troops 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 McCainJuan Williams: Time for boldness from Biden Democrats lead in three battleground Senate races: poll Republican Scott Taylor wins Virginia primary, to face Elaine Luria in rematch MORE (R-Ariz.) in 2015.

Flake was also "shocked" to find out his friend and former House colleague, Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceTrump to meet with Mexican president on July 8 Liberal veterans group urges Biden to name Duckworth VP Trump says he's 'all for masks' despite reluctance to wear one MORE, was nominated as Trump's running mate in 2016, according to Politico