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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.

Go deeper

Aug 14, 2021 - World

Russian plane sent to fight Turkey's wildfires crashes, 8 dead

Photo: Turkish Ministry of Agriculture And Forestry/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A Russian plane that was sent to Turkey to fight the wildfires crashed Saturday, killing all eight people on board, state news agency TASS reports.

What they're saying: "Five Russian military crew members and three citizens of the Republic of Turkey who were on board the Russian Be-200 plane crashed in the Republic of Turkey," the Russian defense ministry said, per TASS.

GOP Rep. Gonzalez retires in face of Trump-backed primary

Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R) Photographer: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R) announced his retirement on Thursday, declining to run against a Trump-backed primary challenger in 2022.

Why it matters: Gonzalez has suffered politically since siding with House Democrats to impeach the 45th president after the Capitol riot.

Swing voters oppose Texas abortion law

Protesters at a rally at the Texas State Capitol. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images

All 10 swing voters in Axios’ latest focus groups — including those who described themselves as "pro-life" — said they oppose Texas' new anti-abortion law.

Why it matters: If their responses reflect larger patterns in U.S. society, this could hurt Republicans with women and independents in next year's midterm elections. The swing voters cited overreach, invasion of privacy and concerns about frivolous lawsuits jamming up the courts.

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