Senator John McCain has strong words for Donald Trump and has issued a stern warning to the president about the suppression of free press and the creation of dictators and a dictatorship.
The Washington Examiner described how the 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain took issue with Donald Trump’s recent Twitter post where Trump slammed the media and called it an “enemy of the American people.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2017
When McCain was on NBC’s Meet the Press, he elaborated on the issue, saying that allowing free press is what he called “a fundamental part of the new world order.” This came after host Chuck Todd asked John McCain how he felt about Donald Trump’s Twitter post, where the president called various news outlets such as CNN, ABC and The New York Times what he describes as “fake news media.”
John McCain jokingly said that while he may hate the press, a free press is very much needed in a free world to promote and preserve a democratic environment. He admitted that while the press may sometimes be adversarial, that is their job. Without the free press, he stated, personal liberties may erode over time and this can help to fuel dictators.
“I hate the press, I hate you especially, but the fact is we need you, we need a free press. If you want to preserve democracy as we know it, you have to have a free and sometimes adversarial press. Without it, I’m afraid that we would lose so much of our individual liberties over time. That’s how dictators get started.”
After John McCain was pressed on whether he felt Donald Trump’s tweet was an indication that the president was behaving like a dictator, McCain chose his words carefully and replied that while Trump may not actually be trying to act like a dictator, with the suppression of a free press, it is a slippery slope towards dictatorship, which history proves.
“They get started by suppressing the free press. I’m not saying President Trump is trying to be a dictator, I’m just saying we need to learn the lessons of history.”
Donald Trump has a sharp critic in John McCain, who disagrees with the president in different areas such as national security and foreign policy. The Washington Post notes that since the president’s inauguration, McCain has frequently been in the press with regard to Trump’s policies.
At the Munich Security Conference in Germany, for instance, even though he didn’t directly mention President Trump’s name, he described how he felt that the West was in worse shape than it had been under Barack Obama and suggested it may not even survive now.
McCain is not alone in his feeling that President Trump is heading in the wrong direction with his ideas about fake news and a free press. Carl Bernstein, who was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his reports on the Watergate scandal with Richard Nixon, also agrees. He has chosen the word “treacherous” to illustrate how he felt about Donald Trump’s Twitter posts on the subject.
Bernstein described how the “most dangerous enemy of the people is presidential lying.” He also asserted that President Trump’s frequent attacks on the press were far more treacherous than Richard Nixon’s.
The short Meet the Press clip with John McCain discussing Donald Trump, free press, and dictators is just a teaser, and CNN report that the full interview will be available to watch in its entirety on Sunday.
Do you agree with John McCain that Donald Trump’s attack on the free press is an indication that he may see himself as a dictator or that the United States may be sliding into a dictatorship?
[Featured Image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]