Outgoing Republican Senator Jeff Flake delivers a searing criticism of President Trump’s attacks on the media comparing him to Soviet dictator, Joseph Stalin. (Reuters)

Outgoing Republican Senator Jeff Flake delivers a searing criticism of President Trump’s attacks on the media comparing him to Soviet dictator, Joseph Stalin. (Reuters)

GOP senator denounces Trump attacks, recalls Stalin rhetoric

Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona called Trump’s repeated attacks on the media “shameful” and “repulsive.”

By Matthew Daly / Associated Press

WASHINGTON — 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.

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.

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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