Update: After numerous headlines were written, including this article, accusing Jeff Flake of "comparing Stalin and Trump," Flake clarified the content of his upcoming speech. Apparently, he doesn't wish to compare Trump and Stalin.
"I am in no way comparing President Trump to Josef Stalin," Flake told CNN. "Stalin was a killer," he said of the dictator. "Our president is not."
Here's the original story.
In the eyes of defenders and critics alike, one criticism never levied against Trump is that his attacks on the mainstream media are similar to Stalin's abolition of the free press. It now appears that Senator Jeff Flake, a Republican from Arizona, plans to make this precise argument in an upcoming speech.
A spokesperson for Flake, who plans to retire this year after intense political pressure sparked by his sharp criticisms of President Trump, will deliver this speech on Wednesday. He picked this particular day, in part, because it is before Trump will hand out his "fake news" awards to top mainstream media outlets.
Trump announced via Twitter that the awards would be used to hand out "fake news" trophies to media outlets that he believes unfairly covered him.
According to the Denver Post, the Arizona Senator remains one of Trump's fiercest critics, often claiming that Trump's presidency will be a major blow to the Republican Party and America's standing throughout the world.
In recent day, the Flake joined lawmakers in condemning Trump's alleged description of Haiti and certain African nations as "s***hole countries." According to Flake, Trump's comments were told to him before they were reported by the media. And he also claims that media reports are consistent with what he heard before things went public.
According to NBC News, Flake plans to assert that Trump uses the very words of Joseph Stalin to attack the freedom of the press in the United States.
"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," Flake plans to say.
"It bears noting that so fraught with malice was the phrase 'enemy of the people,' that even (later Soviet leader) Nikita Khrushchev forbad its use, telling the Soviet Communist Party that the phrase had been introduced by Stalin to for the purpose of 'annihilating such individuals' who disagreed with the supreme leader," Flake will say.
"This alone should be a source of great shame for us in this body, especially those of us in the president's party. For they are shameful and repulsive statements."
But Trump insists that the mainstream media, while still remaining free, should treat him with more fairness. He claims that Americans are tired of journalists being "peddlers of falsehoods and liberal propaganda."
"Americans are sick and tired of being lied to, insulted, and treated with outright condescension," reads an email to supporters. "That's why President Trump is crowning the 2017 King of Fake News before the end of the year. There's no point in pretending that some journalists are anything more than peddlers of falsehoods and liberal propaganda."
This isn't the first time that President Trump has recommended the idea of handing out a trophy to news outlets that his supporters consider to be "Fake News." In fact, in November, Trump recommended the idea on Twitter, noting that all mainstream news outlets are "bad" and that the winner should "receive a fake news trophy."
In the email to supporters, Trump's campaign provided readers with several options to choose from regarding what they think is the "most fake" news story of 2017. The candidates for fakest news include stories that all networks retracted, corrected, or explicitly apologized for.
The first story is one penned by ABC News, which reports that Michael Flynn would testify against President Trump. The second is from CNN, which claims that Trump and his son, David Trump Jr., were offered early access to Wikileaks documents. And finally, the third story was written by Times Magazine. This story, written during the presidential transition, claims that Trump removed a bust of Martin Luther King Jr. from the Oval Office when he had not.
According to Trump, all three of these stories demonstrate that the mainstream media doesn't care about the truth. Rather, he says, they are "liberal pundits" who think that the American people are "too stupid" to see through their "amateur efforts to manipulate public opinion."
Since he first began his campaign, Donald Trump has treated the news media as an opposition party. Meanwhile, the news media has taken an adversarial approach to covering Trump, leading to charges of unfair bias and sparking debate about whether President Trump is being covered fairly by the media.
Many Americans, in contrast, believe that President Trump has treated the mainstream too harshly. As a result of Trump's harsh treatment, many believe that actual fake news — uncredible websites that purposefully promote false information in order to get clicks and profit — are able to operate without criticism by Trump supporters or even awareness that the outlets are actually writing fake news.
In recent news, amid blazing accusations, Rand Paul reveals what Trump really thinks about Haiti.