Sen. Flake compares Trump's attacks on media to rhetoric of Stalin

Sen. Flake compares Trump's attacks on media to rhetoric of Stalin
Arizona Senator Jeff Flake.

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Arizona's Jeff Flake stepped back into the national spotlight Wednesday, Jan. 17, with a major speech from the Senate floor.

Flake, who has battled with President Donald Trump before, compared Trump's attacks on the news media to the rhetoric of late Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.

Hours earlier, Sen. John McCain wrote an opinion piece for the Washington Post asking President Trump to stop attacking the media. Read McCain's story HERE.

MORE: Sen. Jeff Flake may run for president in 2020 I Jeff Flake's senate seat up for grabs I Trump insults Arizona senator as 'Flake(y)' I Sen. Flake says GOP is 'toast' if it follows Trump, Moore

Flake criticized the president for calling the news media the "enemy of the people" and said Trump's actions are "an assault as unprecedented as it is unwarranted."

Flake's speech came the same day President Trump was expected to announce a set of "Fake News Awards," addressing what he sees as bias in the mainstream media.

The full text of Sen. Flake's speech is below:

Mr. President, near the beginning of the document that made us free, our Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote: "We hold these truths to be self-evident..." So, from our very beginnings, our freedom has been predicated on truth. The founders were visionary in this regard, understanding well that good faith and shared facts between the governed and the government would be the very basis of this ongoing idea of America.

Flake, who announced he will not be seeking re-election in 2018, has said he will use his remaining time in the Senate to speak out against the president when he believes it is warranted.

Flake announced his decision to retire in a Senate speech in October that bemoaned the "coarsening" tenor of politics in the United States and criticized his own party's "complicity" with Trump's behavior.

The Arizona Republican has said he doesn't have any formal plans to run for president after his time on Capitol Hill.

"I don't rule anything out, but it's not in my plans," Flake told ABC's "This Week" last month.

WANT MORE? Download our Tucson News Now app for Apple and Android devices.

Copyright 2018 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.