EYES ON THE SMALL SCREEN
Jeff Flake Shopping Around for a Possible Post-Senate Cable News Gig
The outgoing Republican senator has already met with the heads of at least two major cable-news networks.
When Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) leaves his current job at the beginning of 2019, he could already have a new one lined up: cable-news pundit.
Over the past several days, the Arizona Republican—who is not seeking re-election amid his public fights with President Donald Trump—has met with the the heads of at least two major cable-news networks.
On Monday, he met with MSNBC president Phil Griffin; and on Tuesday, he met with rival network CNN’s chief Jeff Zucker. Flake was absent Monday for a series of Senate votes that took place around 5:30 p.m. Neither network responded to requests for comment on those meetings.
When asked by The Daily Beast whether he is in talks for a cable-news gig, Flake declined to confirm or deny that the meetings took place.
“That’s down the road—that’s six months,” Flake said with a laugh.
The Republican senator has emerged as one of Trump’s most fervent critics on Capitol Hill. He has not ruled out a presidential bid in 2020, and has argued that someone—whether it’s him or another Republican—should challenge Trump for the GOP presidential nomination.
Flake likely won’t be the only member of Congress who could become a more permanent feature on cable news after leaving office in 2019.
Former Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), who resigned from Congress last month, signed a contributor deal with CNN almost immediately after his departure.
And Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), who will exit the House at year’s end, recently met privately with editorial staff at several networks. A person close to Gowdy told The Daily Beast that Gowdy has been on a “listening tour” that has brought him to MSNBC, Fox News, CBS, and others.