05:17 - Source: CNN
Real-world impacts of Trump's 'enemies' tweet

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"The phrase 'enemy of the people' - that has a history," he said

Trump tweeted that major media outlets are the 'enemy of the people'

CNN —  

Rep. Jerry Nadler said Tuesday that President Donald Trump’s labeling of the free press the “enemy of the people” is a “totalitarian tool” unfit for an American president.

“To label the press or anybody else the ‘enemy of the people’ is a totalitarian tool of dictators not fitting of the President of the United States,” the New York Democrat told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on “New Day.”

Trump tweeted Friday that CNN and other major media outlets were “the enemy of the American people.”

Nadler, a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, said Trump’s attacks on judges and journalists seeks to undermine two institutions that hold lawmakers and governments accountable.

“The phrase “enemy of the people” – that has a history. The only people that I know that have used that phrase were (Joseph) Stalin and the people who succeeded Stalin in the Soviet Bloc,” Nadler said. “The press is not the ‘enemy of the people.’ Nobody is an ‘enemy of the people,’ because they disagree with me or you about what we ought to be doing.”

“We’re all presumably working for the benefit of the people as we see it,” he added.

The White House did not immediately respond to a CNN request for comment.

Nadler also accused Trump of refusing to strongly denounce anti-semitism – something he said the President urgently needs to do.

“I don’t know what it’s about, but it’s certainly about refusing to do what any President, governor, or mayor would do, which is to denounce bigotry,” he said. “Maybe he doesn’t want to denounce his own supporters because some of his own supporters are responsible for this.”

Trump condemned anti-Semitism later Tuesday during a visit to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

“This tour was a meaningful reminder of why we have to fight bigotry, intolerance and hate in all of its very ugly forms,” he said. “The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil.”