Trump fan Mike Lee praises Biden’s choice of Jeff Flake, a Trump foe, as ambassador

If confirmed, the former U.S. senator from Arizona, a Latter-day Saint, would be the top U.S. diplomat in Turkey.

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., speaks with reporters at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

President Joe Biden has asked former Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake to become the next ambassador to Turkey.

Flake attended Brigham Young University and is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He also was a founding member of the Republicans for Biden group during the 2020 election.

That put him at odds with many in the GOP, including Utah Sen. Mike Lee, who not only co-chaired former President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign in Utah but also was a headliner at a Latter-day Saints for Trump event in Arizona.

Traditionally, the Senate looks fondly at former members nominated for positions in the administration, though Flake’s support for a Democratic president may change that dynamic among Republicans.

Not with Lee.

The Utah conservative immediately signaled his support in a Facebook post, writing “Jeff and Cheryl Flake are dear friends and honorable people. They will represent the United States well in this critical role in an important time. President Biden shows wisdom in choosing them.”

Flake released a statement, saying, “With this nomination, the Biden administration reaffirms the best tradition of American foreign policy and diplomacy: the credo that partisan politics should stop at the water’s edge. U.S. foreign policy can and should be bipartisan. That is my belief as well, and my commitment.”

Since declining to seek another term in 2018, Flake has taken on the role of distinguished fellow at Brigham Young University’s Sorensen Center for Moral and Ethical Leadership. He also serves as a distinguished fellow at Arizona State University.