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Flake says he's been in touch with Biden administration and has interest in making sure 'our foreign policy is bipartisan'

Posted February 14, 2021 11:02 p.m. EST
Updated February 14, 2021 11:12 p.m. EST

— Former Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake said Sunday he has been in touch with the Biden administration when asked about recent reporting that the administration is considering him for an ambassadorship, but said there have been "no specific talks."

"All I've said is I would have an interest in making sure that President (Joe) Biden's foreign policy is bipartisan," Flake, a CNN political commentator, told CNN's Pamela Brown on "Newsroom."

"You know, we used to say that partisanship stops at the water's edge. That needs to happen, and I think it can happen. But there's been no specific talks," said Flake, who has been an outspoken critic of former President Donald Trump and endorsed Biden in the 2020 election.

Axios reported last week that Biden administration officials are weighing nominating prominent Republicans to ambassadorships, including Cindy McCain -- the widow of the late Arizona Sen. John McCain -- and Flake to highlight bipartisanship in foreign policy.

Pressed by Brown again on the topic, Flake said, "I certainly have an interest in, like I said, making sure that our foreign policy is bipartisan. But we'll leave that to the Biden administration to make those decisions."

Brown clarified whether that meant he has been in touch with the administration "more generally," to which the former senator replied, "Right."

Former Democratic Sen. Doug Jones of Alabama, a longtime friend of Biden, who appeared with Flake on "Newsroom" Sunday, said he thinks Biden will look to incorporate Republicans into his administration to emphasize bipartisanship.

"I do believe that Joe Biden will be looking at some of his Republican colleagues and others for different places in the administration. We don't see that in the Cabinet right now, but I think he's open to that, I think it would demonstrate to him and to the country that he really means what he says when he wants to reach across the aisle and, I think as Jeff said, that is especially true in foreign policy," Jones said.

Like Flake, McCain endorsed Biden over Trump in the 2020 election, and both Arizona Republicans have angered GOP leaders in their state. The Arizona Republican Party voted last month to censure them for supporting "leftist causes" and failing to support Trump.

At Biden's inauguration in Washington, DC, last month, Flake tweeted a picture of himself with McCain and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey -- whom the state party also censured -- with the words, "Good company."

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