‘It was a man living out of his car. He told someone he had just attended a Trump rally…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) Former Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., said several threats against him and his family were currently being investigated.
The ex-senator and vocal NeverTrumper said the threats were a result of his criticisms of the president and his centrist positions that helped Democrats at times to undermine the GOP agenda.
An unidentified man carrying a rifle scope went to three different Arizona locations associated with Flake’s church in an attempt to find him, Flake told The Guardian.
“It was a man living out of his car. He told someone he had just attended a Trump rally,” Flake said.
Last week, a Chicago man pleaded guilty to a federal retaliation charge for leaving Flake a threatening voicemail during the Senate’s confirmation hearing for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
“I am tired of him interrupting our president, and I am coming down there to take him and his family out,” the defendant, 58-years-old James Dean Blevins Jr. said in the voicemail, according to prosecutors.
“That’s only one of several threats,” Flake said. “Threats where they list my kids and their addresses, links to beheading videos.”
Flake said these constant attacks were in part why he chose not to seek re-election last year.
“I would have liked to have done one more term in the Senate, that’s probably all,” he said. “But it’s been at a heavy cost to my family. The sacrifices they’ve been [required to make], what they had to endure.”
Flake isn’t the only Republican who has faced violent threats.
In 2017, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., was attacked by a neighbor in his own backyard, leaving him with broken ribs and fluid in his lungs.
A jury awarded Paul more than $580,000 in January, and Paul has used the incident to speak out against violent rhetoric in the political community.
“This lawsuit wasn’t about me. It was about all of us and what we find acceptable as a society,” Paul wrote on Twitter in January. “We need to send a clear message that violence is not the answer—anytime, anywhere.”
While initial media reports suggested the assault on Paul related to a landscaping or boundary dispute, the senator shared a link on Twitter pointing to a Washington Examiner article that questioned that claim and displayed several angry anti-conservative tweets from the neighbor.
Paul said the violence was unacceptable regardless of the reasons.
“We can hold different views, whether it’s politics, religion or day to day matters,” but it is “never OK to turn those disagreements into violent, aggressive anger. I hope that’s the message from today,” he said.