President Trump is employing techniques “popularized by Joseph Stalin” to demonize the press and his approach could do great harm to the nation in the long run, Sen. Jeff Flake said Sunday.
In an appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” the retiring Arizona Republican and outspoken critic of the president said he’s deeply troubled by how Mr. Trump attacks the media.
“You can talk about crowd size, and this is pretty innocuous if there’s a falsehood. But when you reflexively refer to the press as the ‘enemy of the people’ or ‘fake news,’ that has real damage,” Mr. Flake said. “It has real damage to our standing in the world. And I noted how bad it is for a president to take what was popularized by Joseph Stalin, the ‘enemy of the people,’ to refer to the press.”
Mr. Flake announced his retirement last year amid continued clashes with the president. Before Mr. Flake’s announcement, the president endorsed his would-be challenger in the GOP Senate primary in Arizona, Kelli Ward.
Since then, Mr. Flake has continued to be one of the loudest Republican critics of the president. Specifically, he takes great issue with how Mr. Trump demeans the media.
“I’m going to talk about how damaging that is,” the senator said. “I just want the president to know that this has real consequences.”