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GOP senator: I wish Republicans had stood up to birtherism

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.) in an interview broadcast Sunday said he wished the Republican Party had stood up to birtherism.

On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” host Chuck Todd discussed Flake’s new book about conservatism and asked the Arizona senator if the GOP is afraid to put country over party.

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“Well, I do think that we've seen more people ready to stand up. And I wish that we, as a party, would have stood up, for example, when the birtherism thing was going along. A lot of people did stand up but not enough,” Flake told Todd.

Flake said the birther movement, a conspiracy theory that claimed former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaBiden inaugural committee raised M with big sums from billionaires, corporations To confront corporate power, President Biden needs Jonathan Kanter Minneapolis mayor on Floyd: 'Ultimately his life will have bettered our city' MORE was not born in the United States, “was particularly ugly.”

President Trump had promoted the theory for years, before rejecting it during the 2016 presidential campaign.

"President Barack Obama was born in the United States," Trump said at the end of a campaign event last September. "Period."

Flake on Sunday also denounced the “lock her up” chants about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonPelosi on power in DC: 'You have to seize it' Cuba readies for life without Castro Chelsea Clinton: Pics of Trump getting vaccinated would help him 'claim credit' MORE, which could be heard at Trump rallies during the 2016 election

The Arizona lawmaker, who has not shied away from criticizing Trump and his own party, has been completing a media blitz promoting his new book, “Conscience of a Conservative.” He has argued that the GOP is in denial about the first few months of Trump’s presidency.