No sooner had Sen. Jeff Flake announced he would leave the Senate after his first term — which the Arizona lawmaker says he hopes will create a “tipping point” in Republicans’ insurgent campaign against President Trump — were members of the media pushing him to go the next step, and actually impeach the president.
MSNBC’s Chuck Todd spoke Tuesday with Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who had just announced his resignation.
Flake explained he hoped to spark a larger movement that would destabilize Trump’s sway over the Republican Party.
“There are hinges of history that, you know, that happen,” Flake told Todd. “I hope we’re nearing that. I hope there are enough people who will stand up. And I think as elected leaders it’s our responsibility to do that and not just wait for the groundswell and wait for the people to direct us. We ought to actually lead.”
Todd then suggested that one way Congress could lead is by removing Trump from office.
“Well, there is way that Congress can change this,” Todd told Flake. “Do you think Congress should be pursuing every avenue to get President Trump out of office?”
But that was too much even for Flake, who quickly distanced himself from the idea.
NBC’s Matt Lauer interviewed Flake Wednesday morning and suggested he should follow his convictions toward their conclusion and remove the president from office.
“Is there a difference in your mind, between a president who, undermines our democratic ideals and has a flagrant disregard for the truth and decency, and a president that is unfit to hold office?” Lauer asked.
Flake again distanced himself from the idea Trump should be removed from office.
CBS’s Norah O’Donnell likewise suggested Flake might want to consider impeaching the president.
“You seem to be trying to ignite a movement,” she said during an interview on CBS This Morning. “You write, ‘It is time to take a stand against Trump.’ If he is dangerous to democracy, as you say, should he be removed from office?”
ABC’s George Stephanopoulos likewise tried baiting Flake into taking more aggressive action against Trump.
“Are words enough, though, senator?” Stephanopoulos asked during an interview on Good Morning America. “What should you and your colleagues be doing?”