Sen. Flake faults GOP, Democrat partisanship for Trump rise


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PHOENIX (AP) — Republican Sen. Jeff Flake took his own party to task as well as Democrats, blaming both in a new book for the political gridlock that led to Donald Trump's presidency and its current chaos.

The debut of the Arizona lawmaker's book "Conscience of a Conservative" comes amid turmoil in the White House marked by Anthony Scaramucci's rocky 11 days as communications director and the replacement of the chief of staff.

The book published by Random House goes on sale Tuesday.

Flake says in the book that people who felt abandoned by the top parties were drawn to Trump, "a candidate who entertained them and offered oversimplified answers" to complex issues.

The senator says that since the election conservatives have been in denial as the government at its highest levels has become dysfunctional.

Flake was highly critical of Trump during the presidential campaign, but has sought to reach common ground and backed some of the administration's initiatives, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's backup proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it later.

Scaramucci left his post in the Trump administration on Monday, days after he let loose an expletive-filled rant against senior staff members, including then-chief of staff Reince Priebus. A White House statement said he left so that the new chief of staff, former Homeland Secretary John Kelly, could build his own team.

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