- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 19, 2017

Arizona Sen. John McCain cautioned the White House on Sunday against bashing the press, saying that is “how dictators get started.”

Mr. McCain’s warning followed a deluge of criticism on President Trump’s blasting the news media for allegedly trying to undermine his administration with fabricated stories and tweeting that “FAKE NEWS media … is not just my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!”

A frequent critic of Mr. Trump, Mr. McCain said the president is treading on dangerous ground.

“I hate the press. I hate you especially,” Mr. McCain joked in an interview with NBC “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd. “But the fact is we need you. We need a free press. We must have it. It’s vital.”

“If you want to preserve — I’m very serious now — if you want to preserve democracy as we know it, you have to have a free and many times adversarial press,” Mr. McCain said. “And without it, I am afraid that we would lose so much of our individual liberties over time. That’s how dictators get started.”

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