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Flake threatens Trump again on judicial nominees

WASHINGTON – Sen. Jeff Flake warned that he and a “number of senators,” are prepared to block President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees if there is no action in the Senate on tariffs and other key issues.

“I do think that unless we can actually exercise something other than just approving the President’s executive calendar, his nominees, judges, that we have no reason to be there. So I think myself and a number of Senators, at least a few of us, will stand up and say let’s not move any more judges until we get a vote, for example, on tariffs,” the Arizona Republican said on Sunday in an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos.

This is not the first time Flake, who sits on the Judiciary Committee, has threatened to block Trump’s judicial picks.

Last week, Flake told CNN it was something that was being discussed.

Currently, Republicans hold a slight majority on the committee, 11-10, which Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley has noted could pose a problem for passing nominees if even one Republican chose not to vote.

“If it is a controversial one, we probably would have to have all 11 Republicans. So if one Republican wouldn’t vote, and it’s 10 to 10, then we’re not going to take it up,” Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, previously told CNN.

Flake, a longtime critic of the President, has announced he is not running for re-election.

“The Mark Sanford loss clarified something if it wasn’t clarified before. You can’t, as a Republican these days, stand in — in — you know, in opposition to some of the president’s policies or — or not condone his behavior and expect to win a Republican primary. That’s the reality and then we’re seeing that played out,” Flake said on ABC’s “This Week,” referencing Republican South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford’s recent primary loss.