Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) ridiculed Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) for comparing President Donald Trump to Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. Gingrich said Thursday on “Fox & Friends” that the retiring Arizona senator “probably could get a job at CNN.”
Flake earned praise and intense coverage from mainstream media outlets and pundits when he took to the Senate floor Wednesday to denounce Trump’s repeated criticisms of the biased, “fake news” media.
The Arizona senator took particular issue with Trump’s claim that the mainstream media are the “enemy of the people,” a term Stalin also used — though typically with reference to individuals or people groups he targeted for extermination. But Gingrich dismissed Flake’s speech as mere evidence of “Trump derangement syndrome.”
"Stalin is the second most-dangerous person in the 20th century. He killed more people than anyone except [Chinese dictator] Mao Zedong," Gingrich said. "To compare him to an American president is such an absurdity that Senator Flake probably could get a job at CNN or somewhere else as a reporter."
Gingrich contrasted himself with Flake, saying he bears "the great burden of actually caring about history," unlike the senator from Arizona. For Flake to suggest that Trump is in the same league as Stalin, Gingrich said, proves that Flake suffers from the "literally crazy" and widespread "Trump Derangement Syndrome."
"That also affects some senators, it affects a lot of academics, and Trump just seems to have this effect on people," Gingrich said. "The fact is, nothing Trump has said is particularly stronger about the press than things that Lincoln would have said, things that FDR would have said, things that Ronald Reagan would have said."
Gingrich argued that "strong presidents" often "get really angry when they have reporters who they think are being inaccurate or prejudiced or unfair."
During the course of his Senate floor speech, Flake warned that "it is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by Joseph Stalin to describe his enemies."
"When a figure in power reflexively calls any press that doesn't suit him 'fake news,' it is that person who should be the figure of suspicion, not the press," Flake said. "No matter how powerful, no president will ever have dominion over objective reality."
(photo credit, homepage images: Newt Gingrich, CC BY-SA 3.0, by Gage Skidmore / Jeff Flake, CC BY-SA 2.0, by Gage Skidmore ; photo credit, article images: Newt Gingrich, CC BY-SA 3.0, by Gage Skidmore / Jeff Flake, CC BY 2.0, by Gage Skidmore)
Last Modified: January 18, 2018, 2:01 pm