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Jeff Flake: ‘Republicans Need to Stand Up’ to Trump and Actually Push Back

Sen. Jeff Flake  (R-AZ) is urging his colleagues to push back on President Donald Trump, joining a number of Republicans reluctant to fall in line with certain of his policies.

“I can tell you Republicans need to stand up on issues like tariffs facing us right now,” Flake told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos Sunday. “We’re in the nascent stages of a full-scale trade war and the president simply seems to want to escalate… Congress ought stand up and say, ‘No, we’re not going to do that. You can’t use section 232 to claim that Canada is a national security threat. That’s not who we are.'”

Flake, troubled by building international tensions over trade, was responding to conservative political commentator George Will‘s Washington Post op-ed telling Republicans to unseat the GOP in the November midterms.

However, Stephanopoulos wanted to know why both the House and the Senate continue to back Trump on a series of issues, not straying far from the president’s platforms.

“I think a lot of people, Republicans in the House and Senate, look at was a 14 percent institutional favorability rating and long for the president’s 40 percent,” Flake explained, noting that he feels that reality makes it tougher for his colleagues to stand up to Trump.

“We ought to more jealously guard our institutional prerogative,” Flake added. “I think in this crisis we’re in, I think that the judiciary has stood up well, the press has stood up well, in terms of institutions, the balance, but the Congress has been lacking. And on something like tariffs, for example, the Senate ought to bring legislation to the floor that says, ‘Hey, we’re going push back here.'”

Watch the clip above, via CNN.

[Image via screengrab]

Follow Amy Russo on Twitter: @amymrusso

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