Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) refused to say that Trump was mentally fit and able to handle the North Korea nuclear crisis.
Transcript via CNN State Of The Union:
BASH: Senator, there are a lot of people waking up this morning in this country very concerned about what they’re hearing from North Korea.
Do you share Clapper’s concern, not just about North Korea, but with the president’s ability to respond?
FLAKE: Well, I — I do have good confidence in our national security team and those who are advising the president.
And the president does not have experience in this — in this kind of situation, but few presidents do when they come into office.
And I’m confident that the people around the president are giving him good advice, and I believe that he will follow it. I sure hope he does. Obviously, you like a leader that’s measured and sober and consistent. Our allies want to hear that.
I think our adversaries need to hear that. But we have got a good team around the president.
BASH: Senator, you talked there about the president’s team, but not about the president himself. Are you concerned about the president himself, as James Clapper is?
FLAKE: Well, like I said, no president comes in prepared with regard to foreign policy experience. That’s why you have a good team around them.
I have had my concerns, I think everyone has, at some of the statements that have been made by the president with regard to NATO and other areas in foreign policy.
Like I said, I think we — we want somebody who is — who is measured and sober and consistent and conservative in this regard. But he has a good team around him, and I have confidence in them.
To understand why the White House sent Defense Secretary Mattis out to deliver a statement instead of North Korea, it is important to realize that a Republican Senator would not say that his own president is mentally fit enough to handle this crisis.
Nowhere in Sen. Flake’s answer was a statement of confidence about Trump’s mental fitness. Instead of vouching for Trump’s competency, Flake praised the people around Trump who can keep him in check.
Jeff Flake has been critical of Donald Trump, but he has also personally dealt with the man, and if the people who have been in the room with the President won’t confirm Trump’s ability to handle a crisis, it is a strong signal that the President Of The United States could very well be mentally unfit and incompetent.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association