Jul 13, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden to tap ex-Sen. Jeff Flake as ambassador to Turkey

Former Sen. Jeff Flake

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Biden will nominate former GOP Sen. Jeff Flake as his ambassador to Turkey, bringing in a senior Republican to help emphasize his bipartisan instincts on foreign policy.

Why it matters: In picking Flake, Biden is putting his trust in a former politician to handle one of America’s most challenging relationships in NATO.

  • “Given the strategic importance of the United States’ relationship with our long-time NATO Ally, the Republic of Turkey, I am honored and humbled by the trust President Biden has placed in me with this ambassadorial nomination,” Flake said in a statement.
  • “This is a pivotal post at an important time for both of our countries."
  • Flake, along with Cindy McCain, had long been considered potential picks to help Biden show his commitment to bipartisanship, Axios reported in February.

The big picture: Flake, a one-term senator from Arizona, endorsed Biden at the 2020 Democratic National Convention, after deciding he wouldn’t run for re-election in 2018.

  • He clashed frequently with then-President Trump and openly questioned his own future in the party.
  • "There may not be a place for a Republican like me in the current Republican climate or the current Republican Party," he told the Arizona Republic in 2017.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to show that Flake was a one-term senator.

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