Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who announced late last month that he would retire after 2018, criticized President Trump on Monday over his call for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to probe Hillary Clinton and Democrats, calling it “not normal.”
“The kind of behavior that the president has exhibited … saying the FBI should go after the president’s political adversaries. I mean to have a president say that, that is not normal. And we shouldn’t accept it as normal, and that was the point of the [floor] speech,” Flake told CNN.
“The damage to our democracy seems to come daily now,” Flake wrote in a New York Times op-ed, referring to Trump’s behavior.
“Most recently with the president’s venting late last week that if he had his way, he would hijack the American justice system to conduct political prosecutions — a practice that only happens in the very worst places on earth,” Flake added in the op-ed.
On Friday, Trump told reporters he was “disappointed” the DOJ wasn’t investigating Clinton after former Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairwoman Donna Brazile wrote about a deal between Clinton’s 2016 campaign and the DNC.
“I’m really not involved with the Justice Department. I’d like to let it run itself, but honestly, they should be looking at the Democrats,” Trump said.
Flake added on Monday that since his floor speech rebuking Trump, he has received thousands of calls and letters thanking him.
“I had no idea that it would strike such a chord, the speech I gave on the Senate floor. A lot of people are concerned about where we’re going. Particularly the type of politics that we’ve entered into. The vitriol that we now see daily,” Flake told CNN.