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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 FlakeBiden eyeing Cindy McCain for UK ambassador position: report Profiles in cowardice: Trump's Senate enablers McSally concedes Arizona Senate race MORE said Wednesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden: Trump attending inauguration is 'of consequence' to the country Biden says family will avoid business conflicts 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 ClintonHillary and Chelsea Clinton to host series based on their book 'Gutsy Women' Democrats see spike in turnout among Asian American, Pacific Islander voters Biden officially announces ex-Obama official Brian Deese as top economic adviser 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: Lawmakers release compromise defense bill in defiance of Trump veto threat | Senate voting next week on blocking UAE arms sale | Report faults lack of training, 'chronic fatigue' in military plane crashes Overnight Defense: Defense bill among Congress's year-end scramble | Iranian scientist's assassination adds hurdles to Biden's plan on nuclear deal | Navy scrapping USS Bonhomme Richard after fire Biden faces new Iran challenges after nuclear scientist killed MORE.

Two more suspicious packages were found addressed to former Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderEx-AG Holder urges GOP to speak against Trump efforts to 'subvert' election results Tyson Foods suspends Iowa plant officials amid coronavirus scandal Money can't buy the Senate MORE and Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersSweeping financial crimes bill to hitch a ride on defense measure Katie Porter in heated exchange with Mnuchin: 'You're play-acting to be a lawyer' Emergency housing assistance for older adults needed now 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."