Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) didn't name President Trump directly in his remarks to Harvard Law School graduates on Wednesday, but with a dig about selling red hats, it was clear who the retiring senator was talking about.
Flake said the United States "may have hit rock bottom. This is it. If you have been wondering what the bottom looks like, this is what it looks like when you stress-test all of the institutions that undergird our constitutional democracy at the same time." The presidency has been "debased" by a "figure who seemingly has a bottomless appetite for destruction and division, and only a passing familiarity with how the Constitution works," Flake said. It's time for people to stop equating being "cruel" with making "America great," he said, adding, "to be clear, we did not become great – and will never be great — by indulging and encouraging our very worst impulses. It doesn't matter how many red caps you sell."
Flake has been one of the few Republicans in the Senate to go after Trump publicly, and he told the graduates that there are "times when circumstances may call on you to risk your career in favor of your principles. But you, and your country, will be better for it. You can go elsewhere for a job, but you cannot go elsewhere for a soul." The country is divided, he said, but "we need each other, and it is a scoundrel who would prosper politically by turning us against each other."