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 donating unused campaign funds to Arizona nonprofit focused on elections: report Biden nominates former Sen. Tom Udall as New Zealand ambassador Biden to nominate Jane Hartley as UK ambassador: report MORE said Wednesday that President TrumpDonald TrumpSix big off-year elections you might be missing Twitter suspends GOP Rep. Banks for misgendering trans health official Meghan McCain to Trump: 'Thanks for the publicity' 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 ClintonSuper PACs release ad campaign hitting Vance over past comments on Trump I voted for Trump in 2020 — he proved to be the ultimate RINO in 2021 Neera Tanden tapped as White House staff secretary 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 BrennanThe CIA's next mission: Strategic competition with China and Russia Clinton lawyer's indictment reveals 'bag of tricks' Still in the game: Will Durham's report throw a slow curveball at key political players? MORE.

Two more suspicious packages were found addressed to former Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderAll eyes on Garland after Bannon contempt vote Arkansas legislature splits Little Rock in move that guarantees GOP seats Oregon legislature on the brink as Democrats push gerrymandered maps MORE and Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersWhich proposals will survive in the Democrats' spending plan? House Democrats scramble to save housing as Biden eyes cuts Toomey takes aim at Schumer's spending windfall for NYC public housing 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."