After retiring from the U.S. Senate last week, Jeff Flake is still looking for his “next thing.” It might just be at CBS News, which has engaged in talks with the Arizona Republican about a role at the network, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Flake, who emerged as one of President Donald Trump’s biggest critics and might challenge him for the party nomination in 2020, was spotted last Friday at the network’s Manhattan headquarters.
Flake could serve in the standard role for ex-politicians as an on-air contributor — or as something more, according to knowledgeable sources.
His future in television has been rumored for a while now, ever since he announced in the fall of 2017 that he would not seek re-election.
Even the president played into the rumor mill on Wednesday, suggesting during a cabinet meeting in the White House that Flake will “probably go to work for CNN. That’s my prediction.” (A CNN spokesperson said the network wouldn’t comment on such speculation.)
Flake’s Senate spokesperson did not previously respond to a THR request for comment about his interest in a contributor job, but The Daily Beast reported in June that he met with the heads of CNN and MSNBC about potential opportunities.
Asked about working in television, Flake said this summer, “That’s down the road — that’s six months.”
The former senator could not be reached for comment about his conversations with CBS News, and the network declined comment.
CNN recently scooped up two other former members of Congress, Mia Love and Luis Gutierrez, as contributors.