Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) responded this morning to his headline-making criticism of the Republican Party for its unwavering support of President Trump. 

In a Politico excerpt from his new book, "Conscience of a Conservative," Flake wrote that the GOP is "denial" about Trump and must stop "rationalizing" actions that go against conservatism. 


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Flake wrote, "If this was our Faustian bargain, then it was not worth it. If ultimately our principles were so malleable as to no longer be principles, then what was the point of political victories in the first place?"

He explained that the party "lost its way" long before Trump entered the political fray, faulting the Bush administration for moving away from conservative principles. 

"This crisis of principle didn't start with President Trump," he told Bill Hemmer, adding that some of Trump's policies of "protectionism and isolationism" are not in line with what conservatives have championed. 

Specifically, he said Trump's rejection of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal "will haunt us for years" geopolitically and economically.

"We will be left behind a world that is already globalized," he explained. 

Flake also took issue with Trump's "comportment" in office. 

"That means something. It's not just conservative policy. Chaos is not a good principle," said Flake. 

He said he will support the president when he agrees with him, like on his appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, cutting taxes and removing regulations from businesses. 

Watch the "America's Newsroom" interview above.


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