Arizona Sen. Flake Defends Speech Comparing Trump Rhetoric To Stalin
On Wednesday morning, Arizona U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake will appeal to his fellow senators and ask them to speak out against President Donald Trump's criticism of the American press.
In a preview of his speech, Flake specifically asks his colleagues to stand up when President Trump dismisses facts as "fake news."
He calls 2017 the year that saw "objective and empirical truth more battered and abused than in any other time in the history of our country at the hands of the most powerful figure in our government."
On CNN, he defended his speech, which makes a comparison between Trump and Russia's notorious dictator Joseph Stalin's habit of calling the free press "enemies of the state."
"I am in no way comparing President Trump to Stalin. Joseph Stalin was a killer, our President is not," Flake said. "But it just puzzles me as to why you would use a phrase that is so loaded, 'The press being the enemy of the people.'"
Referring to the latest report by the Committee to Protect Journalists, Flake noted 2017 was the second consecutive year that journalists around the globe were imprisoned at record levels.
Both Flake and Arizona senior Sen. John McCain warned that Trump's rhetoric against America's own press only emboldens repressive regimes throughout the world to jail reporters and silence the truth.