Jeff Flake Says Donald Trump Should Have Been Disqualified From Presidency for Questioning Obama's Birthplace

Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona was heavily critical of Donald Trump Monday, stating he would never "warm" to the president and that the commander in chief disqualified himself long ago, after blasting President Barack Obama, late Senator John McCain and Mexicans.

Flake, who spoke at the Forbes Under 30 summit in Boston, cited examples of Trump frequently challenging Obama's birthplace, his regular attacks on McCain and his labeling of Mexicans as drug dealers and rapists.

"I could never warm to the president. Long before he ran, he talked about President Obama not being a citizen. I thought that itself is disqualifying," Flake said. "You cannot do that. And then talked about John McCain in a derogatory way. Then talked about Mexicans in a derogatory way. I just think that we've got to do better than that. We can't refer to our opponents, political opponents on the other side of the aisle, as losers and clowns."

Flake continued, "We have too big of issues to solve in this country than to just be partisan all the time."

In that same appearance, Flake said he hoped another Republican would challenge Trump in the 2020 primaries but that he could not be the one to do so. Flake announced last year that he would not seek re-election in the fall, citing "personal attacks, threats against principles and freedoms and institutions, and flagrant disregard for decency."

The Arizona Republican's comments followed the drama he was at the center of Friday in the Supreme Court confirmation battle over Brett Kavanaugh. As the Senate Judiciary Committee was set to vote on Kavanaugh's approval, Flake, who earlier in the day announced he would back the nominee, said he wanted the FBI to investigate allegations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh.

Trump ordered the background investigation but gave the FBI no more than a week's time. Trump said in the last few days that he was open to the probe but chastised Democrats for delaying Kavanaugh's confirmation and what he said were their tactics of obstruction.

Flake has publicly slammed Trump several times before, and Trump has delivered scathing criticism in return.

"How could Jeff Flake, who is setting record low polling numbers in Arizona and was therefore humiliatingly forced out of his own Senate seat without even a fight (and who doesn't have a clue), think about running for office, even a lower one, again? Let's face it, he's a Flake !" the president tweeted June 7.

Following his shocking call for the FBI probe, Flake explained to CBS's 60 Minutes that his decision was partly based on sexual assault victims confronting him in an elevator on Friday right before the committee was set to vote. Flake had just released a statement in which he said he would be voting "yes" on Kavanaugh's nomination.

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

Jeff Flake Says Donald Trump Should Have Been Disqualified From Presidency for Questioning Obama's Birthplace | U.S.