GOP senator defends First Amendment and 'shared facts' in New Year's Day video

Sen. Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseDemocrats seek to exploit Trump-GOP tensions in COVID-19 talks On The Trail: The first signs of a post-Trump GOP McConnell: 15-20 GOP senators will not vote for any coronavirus deal MORE (R-Neb.) on New Year’s Day called for a revival of “shared facts” in politics and the media.

Sasse released a video saying that the country's system of government “will not work” without a shared understanding of the value of the First Amendment.

“The only way the republic can work is if we come together and we defend each other’s rights to say things that we differ about,” Sasse said in the video. “We defend each other’s rights to publish journalism and pieces and things that we then want to argue about.”


Sasse has in the past defended the First Amendment and criticized censoring news, and appeared to take a swipe at President TrumpDonald John TrumpLincoln Project ad dubs Jared Kushner the 'Secretary of Failure' Pence: Chief Justice Roberts 'has been a disappointment to conservatives' Twitter bans Trump campaign until it deletes tweet with COVID-19 misinformation MORE in the video, saying that it’s “not helpful to call the press 'the enemy of the American people.' ”

Trump, who frequently attacks media coverage as “fake news,” last year tweeted that the media is “not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People.”

In the video, Sasse warned of a “new kind of tribalism” that he says will result if Americans surround themselves with “echo chambers” of like-minded people.

“We need to come together as a people and reteach our kids what the First Amendment is about,” he said.