Before he was a senator, Jeff Flake was a foreign lobbyist who worked for a uranium mining firm with ties to Iran.
Between 1990 and 1991, Flake was a registered foreign agent for Rossing Uranium, a company which operates a mine in Namibia that is among the world’s largest suppliers of the nuclear fuel.
It was quite lucrative for his company Interface Public Affairs.
Flake likes to pretend he’s a D.C. outsider and a conservative, both of which are untrue. Flake said he never hid it, but what he doesn’t say is he never spoke of it either.
The mine had a sketchy record which he had to have known but denied he did. Since 1970, the mine was partially owned – 69% – by an Iranian company Rio Tinto.
Jonathan Schanzer, vice president of research for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a conservative think tank, noted that in the 1990s the Iranian regime “was not a friend of the United States; it was an enemy.” He added, “It’s a question of judgment when you represent a company that is owned in part by Iran.”
Flake said he didn’t know it was predominantly owned by Iran. In his 1990 federal filing states that Rossing was not “owned,” “financed,” “controlled,” or “subsidized in part” or whole by a foreign government, although Iran and Namibia both held stakes in the mine.
He hadn’t disclosed it at the time of the primary.
If he didn’t know it was owned by Iran, who did he think owned it???
By 2012, Flake had received at least $97,000 from mining interests, including Rio Tinto, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracked donations through the 2010 election cycle. He also voted a number of times against penalties on Iran.
He backed legislation favorable to mining interests in Arizona. In 2011, Flake proposed ending a ban on uranium mining claims around the Grand Canyon. In 2009 he introduced a land swap bill that would enable Resolution Copper, an arm of Rio Tinto, to develop a mine in eastern Arizona.
His democratic opponent in 2012 Matt Canter said, “He spent years as a Washington lobbyist and a registered foreign agent, doing the bidding of special interest foreign clients, before becoming a career politician who voted to benefit his former clients and refused to tell his constituents about his conflict of interest.”
This is the man who said if the Republican Party gets Moore and Trump, “we’re toast”. The GOP has actually been toast with him and the other senator from Arizona, John McCain. Both of these men are neverTrumpers.
Flake has about an 18% favorability rating in Arizona, yet he’s thinking of running for President.