White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus told CBS’ John Dickerson Sunday that Americans should take President Donald Trump's attacks on the media "seriously."
Priebus called stories about investigations regarding the Trump campaign's potential contact with Russian officials during the 2016 election "grossly inaccurate, overstated, overblown, and... total garbage.”
Earlier this week, Trump called the media "the enemy of the American people."
Trump amplified that sentiment during a rally in Melbourne, Florida Saturday.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) took a veiled stab at Trump and his recent attacks on the press during an interview Sunday with NBC News' Chuck Todd on "Meet the Press."
McCain told NBC that the free press is vital to "preserve democracy was we know it," warning that muzzling the press is "how dictators get started."
"I'm not saying that President Trump is trying to be a dictator. I'm just saying we need to learn the lessons of history," McCain quickly added for clarification.
McCain added that he hates the press but recognizes the vital role the media plays in America's democracy.
"If you want to preserve democracy as we know it, you have to have a free and many times adversarial press," McCain said. "And without it, I am afraid that we would lose so much of our individual liberties over time."