Stephanopoulos Demands Jeff Flake Punish Trump by Blocking Supreme Court Vote

July 17th, 2018 9:07 AM

As ABC’s Good Morning America continued spinning outrage over President Trump’s summit yesterday with Vladimir Putin, anchor George Stephanopoulos turned to anti-Trump Republican Jeff Flake for solutions on how to stop Trump.

Before that, Stephanopoulos opened the show with a somber rant against the President, absurdly claiming that the fallout from this summit was so fierce it could get him impeached for “treason:”

It may have been the most fateful four hours of the Trump presidency to date. Take a look at what happened yesterday. Vladimir Putin committed an act of war against the United States, cyberwarfare against our elections. We saw President Trump by his side taking Vladimir Putin's side nothing like that has ever happened before. It is unlikely ever to happen with an American president again. As you said,the backlash is already growing. Democrats using words like traitorous talking about impeachment openly speculating whether the President has been compromised by the Russian president and you’re also seeing while most Republicans are holding ranks some of the harshest criticism yet from Republicans, even the president's closest allies saying it was a serious mistake that has to be fixed.

After a report from foreign correspondent Terry Moran, Stephanopoulos brought on Flake to reliably part from party lines to bash President Trump. Right from the get-go, Stephanopoulos appealed to liberal conspiracy theories to see if Flake agreed, asking if he thought Putin had compromising information on Trump:

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You tweeted out that the President's performance yesterday was shameful. I guess the big question is why? Why he did it. Have you ruled out Vladimir Putin has something on the president?

JEFF FLAKE: I would have no way of knowing that. I'd have a hard time believing that but it's certainly the easiest explanation. I think that's why so many have gone to it. If that is what victory looks like as the White House said, I think we all would like to know what failure looks like in a summit. That was just a shameful performance, it really was.

Stephanopoulos echoed Flake, calling Trump’s behavior, “shameful” and continuing to bait the never Trump Republican into validating the left’s paranoia.

“Shameful and we don't even know what happened in those two hours when President Trump and President Putin were alone. Don't we need to know what happened in that conversation?” he gushed.

Flake called it a “big mistake” to not let the private meeting between Trump and Putin be open to the media. He slammed Trump as unsavvy on foreign relations and claimed our allies were nervous for the direction he was taking the U.S. with NATO:

Yes, we do. That was a big mistake to meet alone. If the President is as confused as he seems to be in terms of our relationship in terms of what the Russians are capable of, to meet privately with Vladimir Putin is just wrong. I'm very concerned, I think that our allies are most concerned, particularly those that border right on Russia. I was with a congressional delegation in Latvia just two weeks ago and what was unnerving is to hear them talk about the propaganda coming from Moscow that plays to about 40% of their population which is Russian speaking, about NATO being weak and the U.S. Being a non dependable ally for NATO and then to have this kind of rhetoric from the president just play so well into that has got to be unnerving to them.

Stephanopoulos then played advocate for the Democrats, repeating Chuck Schumer’s call for the administration to face a grilling in the Senate to find out what happened behind closed doors at the summit. Stephanopoulos demanded Flake give in to Democrat demands. “The big question now is what you can do about it,” he pressed:

STEPHANOPOULOS: You say you're concerned. You say this was shameful. The big question now is what you can do about it. You're a Republican senator. You've been quite critical as we said of the President. Many are demanding you take action as well. Senator Schumer said it's time to ramp up sanctions, said it’s time bring the president's team up to capitol hill to testify about what happened and demand extradition of the Russians. Are you willing to call for that and are you willing back it up with action?

FLAKE: I think we ought to do both of those things. One, increase sanctions, obviously we ought to target those who were implicated with the indictments as well as other Russian individuals. Second, we ought to have the national security team of the White House come up and talk to us on Capitol Hill about what happened there. Third, I think immediately the senate ought to pass a resolution stating our support for the intelligence community and that we do believe them and we don't believe the denials coming out of Vladimir Putin's mouth. So I think that that can be done immediately.

Stephanopoulos wrapped up the interview by asking his most biased question yet in the interview. The ABC anchor and former Clinton White House staffer urged Flake to block President Trump’s Supreme Court pick as punishment for what he said about Putin.

"Senator, you have a lot of leverage. One vote margin for the Supreme Court in the Senate. If you withhold your vote you can demand accountability from the President, from his team. Are you willing to do that?" he demanded.

Flake wouldn’t give a definitive answer on that one, but didn’t put it completely off the table:

Well, I've used that on other issues like tariffs where we can look at a defined objective. For me it was getting a vote on tariffs last week, and we did. It's more difficult in this regard, however. The President, the Constitution gives the President a lot of power with regard to foreign policy and we'd have to see if there is an objective measurable that we can demand before using leverage like this. That's what I'm looking at.

Flake, is of course the unpopular junior Republican Senator from Arizona who announced last January that he would not be running again at the end of this year, by grandstanding on the Senate floor in a tirade against Trump. Since that tirade drew national headlines and fawning cable coverage, Flake has been a go-to spokesman for the media when they want to show Republicans who are members of the #Resistance against Trump.