Republican Sen. Jeff Flake (Ariz.) seems to have some concerns about Brett Kavanaugh unrelated to the sexual misconduct allegations against him.
While speaking at an event Tuesday, Flake said he was concerned by Kavanaugh's interactions with Democratic lawmakers during his Senate testimony last week, per C-SPAN. While denying allegations of sexual misconduct, Kavanaugh was often aggressive when taking questions from Democrats, as when Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) asked if he had ever blacked out from drinking and he responded, "I don't know. Have you?"
Flake said Tuesday that Kavanaugh's interactions with Democrats were "sharp and partisan, and that concerns me." Although the Arizona senator and key Republican swing vote said he gives Kavanaugh "a little leeway" because of "what he's been through," he still thinks that "we can't have this on the court."
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
But then came the inevitable backtrack. On his way out of the event, The Atlantic's Elaina Plott asked Flake to clarify if this means he might vote against Kavanaugh even if the FBI doesn't turn up anything in its investigation of sexual misconduct. "I didn't say that," Flake responded.
Previously, Flake suggested in an interview with The Atlantic that Kavanaugh has his vote if nothing comes up in the FBI investigation, although The New York Times' Julie Davis points out that the week-long delay only creates the risk that Flake will change his mind. Watch Flake's comments below. Brendan Morrow
Create an account with the same email registered to your subscription to unlock access.