Flake: Trump’s comments give ‘aid and comfort to authoritarians’
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) made it clear he feels the landscape of the current situation in Washington D.C. needs to change.
During an interview on Meet the Press, Flake was asked about President Donald Trump’s recent comments saying Democrats were treasonous for not clapping for the president during the State of the Union address.
“I think the president needs to stop calling Democrats or Republicans or others who don’t stand or applaud at every line that he has, that they’re un-American — he also used that term — or treasonous,” Flake said.
“Words matter and when he talks about fake news, for example, I gave another speech where I talked about how that gives aid and comfort to authoritarians around the world, who are now labeling their opposition or dismissing real dissent as fake news. So those things matter. I don’t think it’s a joking matter to say someone is treasonous and he ought to stop it.”
The White House said Trump was joking when he made the comment, but Flake said such an accusation can not be treated with humor.
“We are seeing things now as normal things we shouldn’t see as normal and this degradation of the political culture is a real concern,” Flake said. “We’re no longer outraged when we ought to be and that’s a problem.
“So I do think more of us ought to stand up and say ‘hey, this is beyond the bounds of where politics ought to be’ and the further we go without doing that, the further politics slides into areas that are just unhealthy.”