Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel on Wednesday told Sen. Jeff Flake (R., Ariz.) he "has gone too far" after he compared President Donald Trump's relationship with the press to that of Joseph Stalin.
Flake, a vocal critic of Trump over his personal conduct and views, delivered a speech from the Senate floor on Wednesday where he likened the president's attack on the media to methods used by the Soviet leader.
McDaniel responded on Twitter, telling Flake to turn on the news to see the "wall-to-wall" biased media against Trump, and adding "he has every right to push back."
Sen. Flake, turn on the news. It’s wall-to-wall with biased coverage against @POTUS. He has every right to push back. Comparing the leader of the free world to murderous dictators is absurd. You’ve gone too far.
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) January 17, 2018
Stalin is widely vilified for his suppression, often in the form of death, of those who voiced dissent to his rule. While still the subject of reveer in limited areas of the world, he is widely condemned for having overseen mass repressions, executions and millions of non-combatant deaths.
Flake further called 2017 "the year in which an unrelenting daily assault on the constitutionally-protected free press was launched by that same White House."
He specifically called out Trump for calling the media "the enemy of the people," words he says Nikita Khrushchev of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union argued should be used for "‘annihilating such individuals’ who disagreed with the supreme leader."
Flake continued his speech by offering examples of foreign powers that suppress free speech, noting the Committee to Protect Journalists documented an all-time high of 262 journalists imprisoned around the world, with 21 of them detained on "false news" charges.
Flake's comments came in the anticipation of the president's scheduled "Fake News" awards, which are expected to be announced Wednesday at 5 p.m. EST.