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Former Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Former Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, along with more than two dozen former GOP members of Congress, signed onto a "Republicans for Biden" effort, Fox News reports.

Why it matters: The group is part of the Biden campaign's strategy to appeal to moderate Republicans currently on the fence about backing President Trump.

  • Its Monday launch was timed to coincide with the first day of the Republican National Convention.
  • Four Republicans, including former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, backed Joe Biden during the opening night of the Democratic National Convention last week.

The big picture: Flake has long been a Trump critic and the president was a major factor in his not to run for re-election in 2018.

  • He urged Republicans not to vote for Trump last year, saying "you cannot go elsewhere for a soul."

What they're saying: "These former members of Congress cited Trump’s corruption, destruction of democracy, blatant disregard for moral decency, and urgent need to get the country back on course as a reason why they support Biden," a Biden campaign official told Fox News.

  • "[T]hey know what’s at stake in this election and that Trump’s failures as president have superseded partisanship."

Go deeper

GOP Sen. Rob Portman says Biden transition funds should be released

Photo: Graeme Jennings/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) wrote in an op-ed for the Cincinnati Enquirer that while he supports legal checks on the 2020 presidential election, the General Services Administration should provide the funds and infrastructure for a Biden transition to begin.

Why it matters: Portman was a co-chair of Trump's re-election campaign in Ohio and rarely steps out of line with party leadership. He wrote in the op-ed that "there is no evidence as of now of any widespread fraud or irregularities that would change the result in any state."

Nov 22, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Republicans quietly plot to sink Biden nominees

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Republicans are making plans to torpedo some of President-elect Biden's prospective Cabinet, agency and judicial nominees if the GOP keeps its majority, aides involved in the discussions tell me.

What we're hearing: Top targets include political names and civil servants who spoke out loudest against President Trump, forced out his appointees or became stars in the impeachment hearings — like Sally Yates and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman — as well as longtime targets of conservative media, like Susan Rice.

Scoop: Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman says Trump lost

Trump with Schwarzman in 2017. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

It's over. That's what Blackstone chairman, CEO and co-founder Steve Schwarzman — one of President Trump's most loyal allies — and other top Republicans are signaling to the defeated president, 16 days after Joe Biden clinched the win.

Why it matters: It’s all theatrics now. Even if Trump doesn't move on fast, you can. It is safe to ignore the fearful Republicans who insist the process is legit and plausible, because they tell us privately it is not.