Senator John McCain has spoken up again lambasting President Trump’s continuous attack on the media, warning that the suppression of free speech is “how dictators get started”. At a rally in Melbourne, FL – Donald Trump insisted that newspapers and news networks are “the enemy of the American people”.

  • The president has referred to the media as the “opposition party” to his administration.
  • He has continuously and repeatedly attempted to discredit the media labelling negative stories and polls as fake news.
  • Historically, a war waged with the press is the first step toward a dictatorship.
  • Trump’s authoritarian attitude shows he has no idea the role of the free press in a democratic society.

“I hate the press,” McCain told NBC’s Meet the Press in an interview, taped at a security conference with European leaders in Munich.. “But the fact is we need you. We need a free press. We must have it.”

“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,” he continued. “Without it, I am afraid that we would lose so much of our individual liberties over time. That’s how dictators get started.”

“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,” McCain said.

During Trump’s rally he attacked the media for unfavourable stories that are now a “big part of the problem”, and that he wanted to speak to the people “without the filter of fake news”.

“When the media lies to people, I will never, ever let them get away with it,” he told fans.

Also on Saturday, Senator Bernie Sanders warned: “According to Trump, if you want the truth, ignore everything except what he is saying. That’s what totalitarianism is all about.”

Trump’s team

Mr. Trump and his top advisers strongly believe that an elitist news media lost its credibility by failing to anticipate his political rise.

Trump’s chief of staff, Reince Priebus, told CBS’s Face the Nation that “you should take it seriously” when Trump threatens the media. He called the recent stories about Trump’s alleged ties to Russia “inaccurate, overstated” and “total garbage”, without specifically saying what information he deemed to be that.

Priebus agrees with Trump’s line on leakers and newspapers reporting their information with confidentiality saying, “I think that the media should stop with this unnamed source stuff, put names on a piece of paper and print it. If people aren’t willing to put their name next to a quote, then the quote shouldn’t be listed.”

When John McCain was asked whether the Republican leadership in Congress would allow a fair and thorough investigation of a president in their party, McCain was ambiguous. “I hope so. And I have to believe so,” he said. “More hope than belief.”

“I think we should give the president the benefit of the doubt,” he said. “But at the same time, we have our responsibilities of advise and consent.”

Watch the Fake-News-filter-less speech here: