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Sen. John McCain said that suppressing freedom of the press is “how dictators get started” in response to a tweet from President Trump that called the media “the enemy of the American people.”

McCain, R-Ariz., said that having a free press is “a fundamental part of the new world order” when asked by NBC’s “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd to respond to Trump’s tweet that specifically calls out the New York Times, NBC and CNN as “fake news media.”

“I hate the press, I hate you especially, but the fact is we need you, we need a free press,” McCain said in a clip of the show released on Saturday. “If you want to preserve democracy as we know it, you have to have a free and sometimes adversarial press. Without it, I’m afraid that we would lose so much of our individual liberties over time. That’s how dictators get started.”

Todd asked McCain if he thought Trump was acting like a dictator with his tweet.

“They get started by suppressing the free press,” McCain responded. “I’m not saying President Trump is trying to be a dictator, I’m just saying we need to learn the lessons of history.”

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