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

on October 2, 2018 in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong/Getty Images North America

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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