WATCH LIVE: Jeff Flake Gives Incendiary Speech Rebuking Trump Ahead of ‘Fake News Awards’
Sen. Jeff Flake is expected denounce President Donald Trump in a high profile speech on the Senate floor Wednesday, ahead of the president’s planned “fake news awards.”
The Arizona Republican, long a thorn in Trump’s side, told the Washington Post that he would be giving the speech in order to stand up to the president’s attacks on the media and other institutions.
Flake noted that Trump’s attacks on the media as the “enemy of the American people” use the same rhetoric once employed by Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.
In excerpts of Flake’s speech published by the Post, he rails against the president for his rhetoric and points out that the “enemy of the people” line was even deemed too extreme for Khrushchev.
From the Post:
In excerpts provided by his office, he is poised to blast Trump’s “unrelenting daily assault on the constitutionally-protected free press” that he will call “as unprecedented as it is unwarranted.”
“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,” Flake will say, according to the excerpts. “It bears noting that so fraught with malice was the phrase ‘enemy of the people,’ that even Nikita Khrushchev forbade its use, telling the Soviet Communist Party that the phrase had been introduced by Stalin for the purpose of ‘annihilating such individuals’ who disagreed with the supreme leader.”
Many of Trump’s supporters have leapt at the report on Flakes remarks, taking offense that the senator would compare the U.S. president to a murderous Soviet dictator.
Flake appeared on MSNBC Wednesday morning to explain that he will not be comparing Trump to Stalin, but merely making the point that his attacks on the press are copied from the Soviet dictator.
Flake’s fellow Arizonan in the Senate, John McCain, also issued a blistering rebuke of President Trump ahead of his “fake news awards,” writing an op-ed in the Post titled: “Mr. President, stop attacking the press.”
Watch a live stream above, via The Washington Post.
[image via screengrab]
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