Being on the outs with President Donald Trump has led to a couple of significant things for Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.).
For starters, in the fall of 2017, he opted not to seek a third term.
This year, after an incredibly wrenching public scene during the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court hearings that included psychologist Christine Blasey Ford accusing the nominee of sexual misconduct in high school, Flake insisted on a one-week delay. Like many Democrats, he wanted the FBI to investigate further. (RELATED: Trump Insists That He Retired Sen. Flake)
All of this can make things pretty awkward at GOP social gatherings. To be fair, lawmakers typically bristle at attending any gathering. Partying as a politician is usually a big fat obligation.
Such was the case Monday night at what was supposed to be a celebratory event for Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) at the Kennedy Center. The event was originally scheduled to be held at the National Cathedral, but that plan fell apart as the funeral for former President George H.W. Bush will be held at the majestic building Wednesday.
Hatch had to settle on the Kennedy Center, which isn’t a bad swap.
Mirror sources say Flake arrived late and was seated in the next to the last row of occupied seats. According to a spy, Flake remained on his cell phone the entire time. Apparently his wife did not look pleased.
“I laughed for a full 10 minutes,” the spy remarked. “You could tell his wife was pissed.”
The Mirror sought comment from Flake’s press office. I asked if Flake had an important call or if the event was just boring.
Au contraire. The Flakes really enjoyed themselves!
“Of course the Senator and his wife enjoyed themselves,” Flake’s press secretary Elizabeth Jones told The Mirror. “They have extremely packed schedules and I know the Senator was on his phone working at one point – he told me he even had to step out into the hall to take a few calls. And before you sent this email, Mrs. Flake had just told me about the various performances she thought were spectacular, including Vocal Point, one of her favorites from her alma mater.
Another attendee recalls the soft glow from Flake’s phone on his face. The second spy said Flake’s act of keeping his phone glued to his face seemed “disdainful” and “self-important.”
Come January, Mitt Romney will occupy the seat vacated by Hatch. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) will replace Flake.