CNN: Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) speaks to CNN's Wolf Blitzer after criticizing President Donald Trump in a commencement speech to Harvard Law students where he shared his concerns about the integrity of US politics.
Flake said Wednesday that Republicans should challenge Trump when he makes accusations against the intelligence community and people like former CIA director John Brennan. Flake said he hopes the result of the Mueller investigation is one that "brings us together."
The outgoing Senator said he has "seen no evidence" that the Trump campaign was spied on, however, he said what the FBI was doing was "appropriate from what I have seen."
"I have seen no evidence that there is spying on the Trump campaign," Flake said. "It's just simply the FBI following leads on, was Russia involved or fought? And I think it was appropriate, from what I have seen."
BLITZER: What do you think when the president uses the phrase criminal deep state?
FLAKE: Well, I think that that is completely unfair, and it's not good to sully our institutions like that without proof.
And having a briefing that includes only Republicans is no way to have transparency.
If you're going to have transparency, then involve both parties. So I hope that the president reconsiders. If there's a meeting or briefing just with Republicans in there, it will do nothing to shed any light, if light needs to be shed on this topic. But I have seen no evidence that there is spying on the Trump campaign.
It's just simply the FBI following leads on, was Russia involved or fought? And I think it was appropriate, from what I have seen. But, boy, if there's a briefing, it ought to involve both parties.
BLITZER: Yes, a lot of people, including several of your Republican colleagues, agree.
You just delivered a pretty scathing speech at Harvard Law School's class day.
You said, among other things -- and I will put it up on the screen -- "Our presidency has been debased by a figure who has a seemingly bottomless appetite for destruction and division and only a passing familiarity with how the Constitution works. The Congress is utterly supine in the face of the moral vandalism that flows from the White House daily. Simply put, we may have hit bottom."
All right, tell us our viewers what made you say that.
FLAKE: Well, I think that our presidency has been reduced.
When we have the president calling for the jailing of defeated political opponents calling his opponents losers and clowns, then the presidency has been debased or reduced. That's what it means.
And for Congress, we need to stand up and reclaim our constitutional prerogative, whether it's passing immigration reform or authorization for use of force. We shouldn't continually say, we will pass what the president wants. We should pass what we think we should do and ask the president to sign it.
He can either sign it or veto it. But we have given far too much. And I think that it's time for the Congress to stand up.