Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona said the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump, needs to back off of his proposal to place a travel ban on Muslims entering the U.S.
On May 8, Flake expressed deep reservations about Trump carrying the party banner, citing the business mogul’s call for Muslims to be banned from entering the U.S.
"He’s got to soften his position there," Flake told NBC News' "Meet the Press."
"I mean, a total and complete ban on Muslims — that is a religious test that is certainly against the Constitution."
On Dec. 7, 2015, shortly after the mass shooting committed by Islamic State (ISIS) sympathizers in San Bernardino, California, Trump announced his controversial proposal.
"Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on," the Trump campaign announced in a press release, according to CNN.
According to Flake, Trump's proposal is not only religiously bigoted, it also "is the last thing we would do if we want to win a war on terrorism," NBC News notes.
"So, it’s constitutionally wrong, and also, strategically, it’s just not a smart thing to do," Flake concluded.
Flake’s vocal opposition towards Trump is in contrast with his fellow Arizona congressman, Republican Sen. John McCain.
Despite Trump criticizing McCain for being a prisoner of war for five and a half years in North Vietnam, the 2008 GOP presidential nominee has pledged to support Trump as the Republican nominee. Flake, on the other hand, has refused to give Trump his endorsement.
"I’d like to support the Republican nominee, but I can’t imagine supporting a nominee who believes there should be a religious test to enter the country," Flake said, according to AZ Family.
"To accept the head of the party has taken taken some of the positions he’s taken is just very difficult to swallow," Flake added. “It really is.”
Meanwhile, Trump has refused to back down from his proposed Muslim ban. On May 4, the business mogul told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that he would stick by his religious test even if it hurt him politically.
"I’m doing the right thing when I do this," Trump said. "And whether it’s Muslim or whether it’s something else, I mean, I have to do the right thing, and that’s the way I’ve been guided.”