A GOP senator aired his concerns about the future of conservatism if Republicans continue to excuse the president AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin
FILE - In this Nov. 23, 2015, file photo, Sen. Jeff Flake, left, R-Ariz., speaks during a field hearing in Phoenix. A large number of GOP senators are skipping next week’s convention in Cleveland, citing a range of prior commitments, from fly-fishing to lawn-mowing. Although a majority of the Republican senators do plan to attend, the level of absenteeism is high as Donald Trump prepares to claim the Republican Party’s nomination. Flake said he has to mow his lawn. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” after criticizing parts of his own party for excusing certain counterproductive behaviors of President Trump. He expressed trepidation about what he called Republicans being “in denial” about Trump.

“I’m concerned about where the party goes if we embrace those kinds of principles,” he said of the president’s support of certain kinds of policies, such as economic protectionism.

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When asked when conservatives should have publicly spoken out against the president, Flake cited the firing of former FBI Director James Comey. According to the senator, the timing of Comey’s firing “should have set off more alarm bells than it did.”

He did made sure to mention that there were some conservative voices who had already expressed disagreement with the president over certain issues and actions.

Flake spoke of the future of the Republican Party and the conservative movement. Messaging and demeanor, he argued, would decide whether or not the party would become an “inclusive party that speaks to a broader audience.”

The initial criticism is part of an excerpt from the senator’s new book, “Conscience of a Conservative.”

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