Former Obama adviser David Axelrod knocked Sen. Jeff Flake (R.-Ariz.) for his comparison President Donald Trump to murderous Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin in a tweet sent earlier today.
One of the dangers of @realDonaldTrump is that he prods his critics to become as hyperbolic as he is.
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) January 16, 2018
Axelrod is no fan of Trump, but he thought that Flake–who plans to deliver his remarks in a speech on the Senate floor on Wednesday thought that Flake’s analogy was off-base.
Flake has since attempted to clarify his remarks about Trump, denying that he is comparing the two men.
“I am in no way comparing President Trump to Joseph Stalin,” Flake told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday. “Joseph Stalin was a killer. Our president is not. But it just puzzles me as to why you’d use a phrase that is so loaded and that has such deeper meaning, the press being the enemy of the people.
Trump isn’t the first person to label the media as the “enemy of the American people” though.
In 2012 Democratic pollster Pat Caddell uttered those very words at an Accuracy in Media conference.
The press’s job is to stand in the ramparts and protect the liberty and freedom of all of us from a government and from organized governmental power.
When they desert those ramparts and they go to serve—to decide that they will now become active participants—when they decide that their job is not simply to tell you who you may vote for, and who you may not, but, worse—and this is the danger of the last two weeks—what truth that you may know, as an American, and what truth you are not allowed to know, they have, then, made themselves a fundamental threat to the democracy, and, in my opinion, made themselves the enemy of the American people (emphasis added).
And it is a threat to the very future of this country if…we allow this stuff to go on, and…we’ve crossed a whole new and frightening slide on the slippery slope this last two weeks, and it needs to be talked about.
Flake announced in October that he wouldn’t seek re-election and thereby avoided a difficult primary the nomination.
CommentsComments are turned off for this article.