AFP: Trump unveils 'Fake News Awards' after drawing rebuke from Republican senator18 January 2018 | 06:06 | FOCUS News Agency
Arizona lawmaker Jeff Flake levelled the broadside in an address from the Senate floor earlier in the day, delivering a one-two punch after veteran Republican John McCain penned an op-ed assailing Trump's spoof awards.
The brash Republican president announced his top-ten list -- which included his regular targets CNN, The New York Times and The Washington Post -- using his preferred medium of Twitter, linking to a list published on the Republican Party's website that crashed minutes after his big reveal.
Flake slammed what he called the president's dangerous disregard for the truth, and his designation of the mainstream news media as an "enemy of the people."
"Mr President, it is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by Joseph Stalin to describe his enemies," said the senator, an outspoken Trump critic who is not seeking re-election this year.
"When a figure in power reflexively calls any press that does not suit him 'fake news,' it is that person who should be the figure of suspicion, not the press."
Turning the tables on the president, Flake accused him of leading an "unrelenting daily assault" on the free press, even as his White House coined the term "alternative facts" -- "as justification for what used to be called old fashioned falsehoods."
"2017 was a year which saw the truth -- objective, empirical, evidence-based truth -- more battered and abused than any time in the history of our country, at the hands of the biggest figure in our government," Flake charged.
Of the "awards" Flake had said "it beggars belief that an American president would engage in such a spectacle yet here we are," -- and urged his fellow lawmakers to take a stand in support of the press.
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