Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeFlake: I sometimes feel like I’m ‘without a party’ Graham attacks NBC as ‘co-conspirator in the destruction of Kavanaugh’ Kavanaugh won’t return to teach at Harvard Law School next semester MORE (R-Ariz.) on Tuesday vowed to stay involved in politics after he leaves the Senate in January, but that he doesn’t yet know “at what level or in what way.”
“I’m not leaving the Senate because I’m not tied to this institution or ‘pox on all your houses,'” Flake said at the Atlantic Festival in Washington, D.C. “It’s a wonderful institution with wonderful people.”
“I simply couldn’t run the kind of campaign that I felt I needed to run in this environment and succeed,” he said. “That’s the bottom line. But I will stay involved, certainly. I don’t know at what level or in what way but this is important.”
Flake announced last year that he would not run for reelection amid an ongoing clash with President TrumpDonald John TrumpFlake: I sometimes feel like I’m ‘without a party’ Graham attacks NBC as ‘co-conspirator in the destruction of Kavanaugh’ Alex Trebek hosts gubernatorial debate in Pennsylvania MORE. The Arizona senator rankled members of the GOP with his ongoing attacks on the president, whom he has accused of leading the Republican party astray.
Flake played a pivotal role as a swing vote in the controversy surrounding Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination, which has been roiled by multiple allegations of sexual assault.
Last week, Flake forced Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFlake: I sometimes feel like I’m ‘without a party’ FBI’s Kavanaugh scope widens as GOP seeks votes McConnell: Senate will hold Kavanaugh vote ‘this week’ MORE‘s hand by announcing he would vote “no” on Kavanaugh unless the FBI investigated the allegations of sexual misconduct leveled against the high court pick.
The White House subsequently opened up a one-week FBI investigation, which is ongoing. Flake told CNN on Tuesday that his vote will depend on the results of the probe.
Flake during CBS’s “60 Minutes” over the weekend said that he would not have called for the FBI probe if he were running for reelection.
“There’s no value to reaching across the aisle,” he said during the “60 Minutes” interview. “There’s no currency for that anymore. There’s no incentive.”
Flake has not ruled out the possibility of launching a challenge to Trump during the 2020 presidential election. He has said he would run as a Republican rather than a third-party candidate because he “can’t imagine doing anything else.”
The Arizona senator will visit New Hampshire next month, his second visit to the state this year. New Hampshire is a traditional destination for possible presidential candidates, as it is the nation’s first presidential primary state and second contest after the Iowa caucuses.