Flake: Trump stop labelling press 'the enemy of the people'

Flake: Trump stop labelling press 'the enemy of the people'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeFlake donates to Democratic sheriff being challenged by Arpaio in Arizona The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says US-China trade talks to resume, hails potential trade with Japan, UK Joe Arpaio to run for Maricopa County sheriff in 2020  MORE said Wednesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpMarine unit in Florida reportedly pushing to hold annual ball at Trump property Giuliani clashes with CNN's Cuomo, calls him a 'sellout' and the 'enemy' Giuliani says 'of course' he asked Ukraine to look into Biden seconds after denying it MORE should continue calls for unity and stop labelling the press the enemy of the people.

"What the President says matters and if he were to take a more civil tone, it would make a difference. It would help," Flake told CNN.

"I hope that he does. What he said just a few moments ago was right," Flake said. "We all need to come together. We need to tone down the rhetoric. And I hope that he'll follow his own council there and do so as well."

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"Civility can't wait until after an election," Flake said, likely riffing off of Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGiuliani says 'of course' he asked Ukraine to look into Biden seconds after denying it Sanders hits 1 million donors Democrats will not beat Trump without moderate policy ideas MORE's comments earlier this month that Democrats can't be civil with Republicans unless they flip Congress in the midterms.

"The president shouldn't refer to the press as the enemy of the people," he continued. "We all need to watch the rhetoric that we use. People hear that and they follow it."

"We can't go on like this," Flake said. "We've got to reach across the aisle and find common ground. If we don't, it's just going to escalate further."

Flake's comments come hours after authorities intercepted improvised explosive devices addressed to former President Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and former CIA director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanTrump lashes out at former intel officials for criticism of Iran tweet Trailer shows first look at Annette Bening as Dianne Feinstein Webb: Questions for Robert Mueller MORE.

Two more suspicious packages were found addressed to former Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderEric Holder says Trump is subject to prosecution after leaving office Eric Holder: Democrats 'have to understand' that 'borders mean something' Trump lawyers ask judge to toss out Dems' tax return lawsuit MORE and Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersBipartisan housing finance reform on the road less taken Manufacturing group leads coalition to urge Congress to reauthorize Ex-Im Bank Democrats' impeachment message leads to plenty of head-scratching MORE (D-Calif.).

Flake earlier Wednesday condemned the attacks, saying, "[W]e need to tone down the rhetoric. Both sides. We gotta see people as opponents, not enemies."

President Trump and lawmakers on the right and on the left also decried the attempted bombings.

"In these times, we have to unify," Trump said. "We have to come together and send one very clear, strong, unmistakable message that acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the Untied States of America."