GOP senator blasts Trump for attacks on news media

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Republican senator blasted President Donald Trump in a speech on the Senate floor Wednesday, denouncing the president’s use of the terms  “enemy of the people” and “fake news” 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.

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.

Flake, a frequent Trump critic who is retiring from the Senate this year, said when Trump calls stories he doesn’t like “fake news,” he “should be the figure of suspicion, not the press.”