Sen. Jeff Flake said Monday that his upcoming speech was “in no way” comparing President Trump and former Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.
“Joseph Stalin was a killer. Our president is not,” Mr. Flake, Arizona Republican, explained in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.
He emphasized the non-comparison in a subsequent tweet with a link to the article.
There is no comparison between POTUS & Stalin. Stalin was a maniacal killer. The point I will try to make in my speech is POTUS should not use a phrase so associated with Stalin like ‘enemy of the people’ to describe our free press,” Mr. Flake tweeted.
Mr. Flake said his concern was about Mr. Trump’s use of the phrase “enemy of the people” to refer to the press. His speech on the Senate floor this week will aim to address concerns about the administration’s assault on the free press.
“It just puzzles me as to why you would use a phrase that is so loaded, and has some steeper meaning, the press being the enemy of the people, so that is a big concern,” he said.
Mr. Flake’s remarks were widely circulated Sunday. He said on ABC News that he feels the need to address some of Mr. Trump’s statements that he sees as having lasting damage on American democracy.