In an interview to be broadcast Sunday morning, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) harshly criticized President Donald Trump for declaring the U.S. media “the enemy” in a tweet Friday night.
Speaking with Meet the Press host Chuck Todd, McCain first jokes about the press before turning deadly serious.
“I’m curious of your reaction to a tweet that the president sent Friday night,” Todd asked McCain. “‘The fake news media, failing New York Times, NBC News, ABC, CBS, CNN is not my enemy. It is the enemy of the American people.’ You believe the press is the enemy? You believe any group of Americans are the enemy of another group of Americans?”
“I was talking about the period as, you know, of the new world order. A fundamental part of that new world order was a free press. I hate the press. I hate you especially,” McCain said with a smile. “But the fact is we need you. We need a free press. We must have it. It’s vital. If you want to preserve – I’m very serious now – if you want to preserve democracy as we know it, you have to have a free and many times adversarial press. And without it, I am afraid that we would lose so much of our individual liberties over time. That’s how dictators get started.”
“That’s how dictators get started, with tweets like that?” Todd replied.
“No, they get started by suppressing free press,” McCain explained. “In other words, a consolidation of power when you look at history, the first thing that dictators do is shut down the press. And I’m not saying that President Trump is trying to be a dictator. I’m just saying we need to learn the lessons of history.”
Watch the video below via NBC: