By Oliver Laughland | The Guardian
Jeff Flake, the former Republican senator for Arizona and a vocal critic of the Trump administration, has revealed he received a number of threats from supporters of the president before he left office this year.
In an interview with The Guardian, Flake described several examples of threatening messages and behavior made against him and his family that he said were currently being investigated by law enforcement agencies in Arizona and Washington D.C.
“I would have liked to have done one more term in the Senate, that’s probably all,” Flake said. “But it’s been at a heavy cost to my family. The sacrifices they’ve been [made to make], what they had to endure . . .”
Donald Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric, both as a candidate for office and as president, has often targeted Flake. The former senator had called for Trump to abandon his bid for the White House in 2016 after the release of a tape showing the reality star bragging about groping women’s genitals.
Last week, a man in Chicago pleaded guilty to a federal retaliation charge after leaving a threatening voicemail for an unidentified U.S. senator after the hearings for Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Flake confirmed to The Guardianthe message had been left for him after he delayed Kavanaugh’s hearing by pressing for a short FBI investigation into allegations the judge had sexually assaulted a number of women as a teenager.
The defendant, 58-year-old James Dean Blevins Jr, said on the voicemail: “I am tired of him interrupting our president, and I am coming down there to take him and his family out,” according to prosecutors.
But, said Flake: “That’s only one of several threats.”