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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

John Frank, author of Denver
Oct 20, 2021 - Axios Denver

Colorado GOP still looking for a winning U.S. Senate candidate

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The herd of Republican candidates storming into the U.S. Senate race is kicking up so much dust it's clouding the party's chances of winning a crucial seat in the 2022 election.

State of play: Nine GOP contenders have filed paperwork to run for the party's nomination — and a chance to challenge Sen. Michael Bennet — and more candidates are expected to enter in coming months.

Biden says Russia likely to invade Ukraine

President Biden addressed the brewing conflict between Russia and Ukraine during a press briefing Wednesday, saying of Russian President Vladimir Putin, "my guess is he will move in."

Why it matters: U.S. officials have issued a series of warnings about Russia's threatening military buildup on the border with Ukraine, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying in Kyiv earlier Wednesday that Russia could invade "on very short notice."

Biden challenges GOP agenda: "What are Republicans for?"

President Biden pushed back against Republican efforts to obstruct his agenda during a press conference Wednesday, asking "What are Republicans for?"

Why it matters: Biden's speech comes as he approaches one year in office, facing low polling numbers and a stalled agenda.

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