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 FlakePoll: 33% of Kentucky voters approve of McConnell Trump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Live coverage: Trump delivers State of the Union MORE said Wednesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpAverage tax refunds down double-digits, IRS data shows White House warns Maduro as Venezuela orders partial closure of border with Colombia Trump administration directs 1,000 more troops to Mexican border 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 ClintonDem strategist says Clinton ‘absolutely’ has a role to play in 2020 Left-leaning journalist: Sanders would be 'formidable candidate' against Trump Clinton hits EPA for approval of pesticide dump: ‘We need bees!’ 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 BrennanOvernight Defense: Trump declares border emergency | .6B in military construction funds to be used for wall | Trump believes Obama would have started war with North Korea | Pentagon delivers aid for Venezuelan migrants Trump: I believe Obama would have gone to war with North Korea Intel agencies' threat assessment matters more than tiff with Trump MORE.

Two more suspicious packages were found addressed to former Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderObama political arm to merge with Holder-run group Barack, Michelle Obama expected to refrain from endorsing in 2020 Dem primary: report Ocasio-Cortez to be first guest on new Desus and Mero show MORE and Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersDems press Barr to make Mueller report public Private insurance plays a critical part in home mortgage ecosystem On The Money: Lawmakers closing in on border deal | Dems build case for Trump tax returns | Trump, Xi won't meet before trade deadline | Waters in talks with Mnuchin for testimony 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."