Jeff Flake Makes T.V. Announcement That Has The GOP Terrified


In a joint appearance on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” Sen. Jeff Flake and Sen. Chris Coons sat for an interview to discuss the tense and historic week in the confirmation hearing of Trump’s SCOTUS nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.

Sen. Flake said the chaos was surprising to him, but that he felt compelled to speak up and demand an investigation.

‘I don’t think anybody expected, you know, what happened on Friday to happen. And I can’t say that I did either. I just knew that we couldn’t move forward, that I couldn’t move forward without hitting the pause button. Because, what I was seeing, experiencing, in an elevator and watching it in committee and just thinking, this is ripping our country apart.’

When asked whether his ability to stand up to his own party, as his former fellow senator from Arizona, John McCain, often did was the result of his decision not to run for office again in 2018, Flake said it was. The partisan divide in Congress is so great and so toxic at this point that speaking up means a certain end to any elected representative’s career.

‘There’s no value to reaching across the aisle. There’s no currency for that anymore. There’s no incentive.’


Perhaps the most powerful moment of the interview came, though, from Sen. Coons. As he described his experience during the hearings on Thursday, he explained that his perception of what was happening in front of him was being powerfully influenced by the people he knows who were reaching out to him by phone at the same time.

‘Sen. Chris Coons: I’m hearing a very smart anguished person who did not want to be testifying in front of us and meanwhile my phone is just blowing up. It was stunning the number of people I heard from during the hearing. That– It was almost hard to know which to listen to more because the things coming in were so striking.

‘Scott Pelley: And they were saying what?

‘Sen. Chris Coons: “You’ve known me a very long time and I was raped as a child and I have never told anyone before right now and I’m sharing it with you.”‘

The two were slightly divided on Kavanaugh’s portion of the hearing, agreeing that his opening statement was shocking. Flake was willing to give him some “leeway” in the face of an accusation that he insisted was false, saying  “when I heard him, I heard someone I hope i would sound like if I was unjustly accused.” Coons said Kavanaugh was “belligerent, aggressive, angry,” but also tried to imagine himself in the same position. Both felt his partisan attacks, particularly his claims that the hearing was revenge by the Clintons for his part in the Monica Lewinsky investigation, crossed the line of acceptability, as did his combative exchanges with Sen. Klobachar and Sen. Feinstein.

Then in a moment of fireworks, they also both readily agreed that if Kavanaugh is found to have been lying in any part of his confirmation testimony, neither will be able to vote for his confirmation.

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