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 FlakePollster says Trump unlikely to face 'significant' primary challenge Trump gives nod to vulnerable GOP Sen. McSally with bill signing Flake opens up about threats against him and his family MORE said Wednesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpThorny part of obstruction of justice is proving intent, that's a job for Congress Obama condemns attacks in Sri Lanka as 'an attack on humanity' Schiff rips Conway's 'display of alternative facts' on Russian election interference 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 ClintonThorny part of obstruction of justice is proving intent, that's a job for Congress Nadler: I don't understand why Mueller didn't charge Donald Trump Jr., others in Trump Tower meeting Kellyanne Conway: Mueller didn't need to use the word 'exoneration' in report 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 BrennanTen post-Mueller questions that could turn the tables on Russia collusion investigators Overnight Defense: House votes to end US support for Yemen war | Vote expected to force Trump's second veto of presidency | More Russian troops may head to Venezuela | First 'Space Force' hearing set for next week After Mueller report, investigate FISA abuse MORE.

Two more suspicious packages were found addressed to former Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderFormer Bush assistant: Mueller report makes Obama look 'just plain bad' Holder: Any 'competent' prosecutor could win obstruction case against Trump Meghan McCain to Sunny Hostin on Assange defense: 'Straight propaganda!' MORE and Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersMichael Steele: A missed opportunity at holding banks accountable On The Money: House Dem says marijuana banking bill will get vote in spring | Buttigieg joins striking Stop & Shop workers | US home construction slips in March | Uber gets B investment for self-driving cars Democrats should be careful wielding more investigations 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."