Flake Raises Alarm About Kavanaugh’s ‘Sharp And Partisan’ Testimony

on October 2, 2018 in Washington, DC.
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 02: U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) participates in a discussion during the 2018 Atlantic Festival October 2, 2018 in Washington, DC. The Atlantic held its annual festival on "the most consequen... WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 02: U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) participates in a discussion during the 2018 Atlantic Festival October 2, 2018 in Washington, DC. The Atlantic held its annual festival on "the most consequential topics facing us today.". (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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October 2, 2018 12:29 p.m.

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) on Tuesday made reference to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s “sharp and partisan” interactions with senators and said “we can’t have this on the court.” But he later denied that the comment meant he would vote against Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

“I was very troubled by the tone of the remarks,” Flake said of Kavanaugh’s Thursday performance before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“The interaction with the members was sharp and partisan, and that concerns me,” he added. “I tell myself, you give a little leeway because of what he’s been through. But on the other hand, we can’t have this on the court. We simply can’t.”

The Atlantic’s Elaina Plott later asked Flake about the comment, which was made during a joint interview with Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) at The Atlantic Festival.

Did it mean he wouldn’t vote to confirm Kavanaugh, even if the FBI cleared Kavanaugh of the sexual misconduct allegations against him? Plott reported that she asked Flake.

“I didn’t say that,” a “rattled” Flake responded, per Plott. “I wasn’t referring to him,” Flake added.

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