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Republican Senator Jeff Flake Accuses GOP of ‘Unnerving Silence’ Under President Trump

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Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake on Monday criticized fellow Republicans for maintaining “an unnerving silence as instability has ensued” under Donald Trump’s presidency.

“To carry on in the spring of 2017 as if what was happening was anything approaching normalcy required a determined suspension of critical faculties. And tremendous powers of denial,” he wrote in an essay Politico published Monday.

Flake — whose book, Conscience of a Conservative, will be released Tuesday — directly criticized Trump for his “seeming affection for strongmen and authoritarians” and for his administration’s denial of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

“If this was our Faustian bargain, then it was not worth it,” Flake said of Republicans winning the White House and both houses of Congress in the 2016 election. “If ultimately our principles were so malleable as to no longer be principles, then what was the point of political victories in the first place?”

Read Flake’s full essay here.

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Write to Katie Reilly at Katie.Reilly@time.com