A Republican senator is denouncing President Donald Trump's use of the terms "fake news" and "enemy of the people" to describe the news media and stories he doesn't like.
Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona said Trump's attacks were reminiscent of words infamously used by Russian dictator Josef Stalin to describe his enemies.
"It is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by Josef Stalin to describe his enemies," he said.
In a speech Wednesday on the Senate floor, Flake called Trump's repeated attacks on the media "shameful" and "repulsive" and said Trump "has it precisely backward." Flake said despotism is the enemy of the people, while a free press is the despot's enemy and a guardian of democracy.
"An American president who cannot take criticism, who must constantly deflect and distort and distract, who must find someone else to blame is charting a very dangerous path. And a Congress that fails to act as a check on the president adds to the danger," Flake said.
Flake, a frequent Trump critic who is retiring this year, said when Trump calls stories he doesn't like "fake news," he "should be the figure of suspicion, not the press."
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