LIVE STREAM: Sen. Jeff Flake speech on US Senate floor condemning Trump media attacks
Excerpt compares president's rhetoric to Stalin's
WASHINGTON – Sen Flake to make a speech on the floor of the Senate, where he's expected to compare the president’s rhetoric about the press to that of Joseph Stalin, among other things.
You can watch it LIVE at 10:15 a.m. ET - Watch it above.
Flake expected to deliver floor speech condemning Trump's attacks on media
Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona is expected to deliver a floor speech on Wednesday in which he will compare President Donald Trump's attacks on the news media to the rhetoric of late Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.
According to an excerpt of the speech, Flake will criticize the President for calling the news media the "enemy of the people," calling it "an assault as unprecedented as it is unwarranted."
"Mr. President, 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," reads the excerpt. "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."
Flake's prepared speech goes on to say the President's actions should be "a great source of shame" for the Senate and the members of the Republican Party.
The free press is the despot's enemy, which makes the free press the guardian of democracy," Flake's remarks say. "When a figure in power reflexively calls any press that doesn't suit him 'fake news,' it is that person who should be the figure of suspicion, not the press."
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.
A frequent critic of Trump, 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.
Sen. Flake dangles possibility of running against Trump
Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona says President Donald Trump is certain to face an independent challenge in the next presidential election, if not one from within the party. And Flake is not ruling out being that challenger.
Flake has been fiercely critical of Trump, even while supporting parts of his agenda, like the new tax cuts. Trump in turn has denounced the senator, who’s not seeking re-election next year.
Flake says if Trump continues on his path, and if Democrats lean left, a “huge swath of voters” will be “looking for something else.”
Asked on ABC’s “This Week” whether he might run for president in 2020, Flake said “That’s not in my plans” but “I don’t rule anything out.”
He says Republicans must marginalize the party’s “ultra-nationalist” element.
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