Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., will slam President Trump's use of the phrase "enemy of the people" to describe members of the press as "shameful" and "repulsive," drawing comparisons between Trump and Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, according to excerpts from a speech he is reportedly set to deliver on the Senate floor Wednesday.
"The free press is the despot's enemy, which makes the free press the guardian of democracy," Flake will say, according to the Washington Post. "When a figure in power reflexively calls any press that doesn't suit him 'fake news,' it is that person who should be the figure of suspicion, not the press."
The phrase "enemy of the people" should also be "a source of great shame" for Congress and the GOP, the retiring Arizona Republican continues.
"It is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by Josef Stalin to describe his enemies," per Flake's speech.
"It bears noting that so fraught with malice was the phrase 'enemy of the people,' that even Nikita Khrushchev forbade its use, telling the Soviet Communist Party that the phrase had been introduced by Stalin for the purpose of 'annihilating such individuals' who disagreed with the supreme leader," Flake writes, referring to the statesmen responsible for the "de-Stalinization" of the Soviet Union.
Flake adds that journalists "risk their lives, and sometimes lose their lives, reporting on the truth" in conflict zones and dangerous regions overseas.
"To dismiss their work as fake news is an affront to commitment and their sacrifice," he will say.
Trump has frequently sparred with the media as president and before that as a presidential candidate.
The Trump administration on Sunday hit out at the Wall Street Journal's characterization of the president's comments about North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un during an interview Thursday, dismissing it as "fake news."
Flake's argument was previously made by Khrushchev's granddaughter, Nina Khrushcheva, on Oct. 11. in emails exchanged with the Washington Examiner after Trump toyed with revoking television broadcasting licenses after receiving poor coverage.
Flake, a staunch "Never Trumper" throughout the 2016 election, has become even more vocal in his criticism of Trump since announcing his upcoming retirement on Oct. 24.