John McCain Vigorously Defends The Media Against Trump’s ‘Enemy’ Attack: ‘That’s How Dictators Get Started’

Senator John McCain appeared on Meet the Press to speak out against Donald Trump’s attacks on the media. To briefly recap, the president amplified his long-standing grudge by yelling at the press for 75 minutes in a combative press conference last week. And on Friday, he tweet-claimed that “the FAKE NEWS media … is the enemy of the American People!” Trump listed several news outlets that he’s currently beefing with because that’s how he rolls.

While speaking with Chuck Todd, McCain addressed this tweet with absolutely no sympathy for Trump’s complaints. He first joked about hating the press but quickly got down to business:

“We need a free press. We must have it. 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’m afraid that we would lose so much of our individual liberties over time. That’s how dictators get started.”

The Arizona senator’s point inevitably dredges up the Hitler comparisons that people often throw out against Trump. Such a violation of Godwin’s law generally goes nowhere, but Trump also sorta invited the label by holding an adoration rally for himself on Saturday night. McCain then justified his claims by stating, “The first thing that dictators do is shut down the press.”

McCain stressed that he doesn’t believe that Trump is aiming to be a dictator but hopes he’ll wake up and “learn the lessons of history.” Yet that’s not likely to happen with a president who’s completely obsessed with what people say about him. He can’t stomach a drop of criticism and relies on the fake-news insult while his own administration issues alternative facts. Sad! And scary.