- The Washington Times - Monday, June 6, 2016

Sen. Jeff Flake, Arizona Republican, said on Monday that he can’t endorse presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump at this point and said Mr. Trump’s questioning the impartiality of a judge because of the judge’s Mexican heritage is a “new level.”

“It’s uncomfortable not having endorsed the Republican nominee, I have to say, but I can’t at this point,” Mr. Flake said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“I hope to be able to support the nominee. I certainly can’t right now,” Mr. Flake said.

Even Republican leaders who have said they’ll support Mr. Trump, such as House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have distanced themselves from Mr. Trump’s attacks on Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is overseeing one of the cases alleging fraud against Trump University.

Mr. Trump has said Judge Curiel has a conflict of interest because he has Mexican ancestry and Mr. Trump has pledged to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

“His statements this week on the judge — that’s a new level,” Mr. Flake said. “Because it’s not just … ill-informed or ignorant statements, but they suggest that when he’s president, you know, after November, that … perhaps he ought to go after that judge. That’s a whole new level. So that’s — it’s very disturbing.”

Mr. Flake said Republicans say they’re against the notion of identity politics.

“He’s just trying to confirm that stereotype that’s completely wrong. And it just — it’s offensive. It really is. And this week, it was a whole new level,” he said.

Mr. Flake acknowledged that Mr. Trump won the GOP primary in Arizona, but the senator said the businessman could be in trouble there if he continues to hold fast to some of his stated positions.

“It’s not just the Hispanic voters that I’m concerned about. I am concerned about them, but it’s the broader electorate, broader Republicans,” he said.

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