Senator McCain cited statistics from the Committee to Protect Journalists that 262 reporters were jailed last year over their work, making 2017 one of the most unsafe years on records for journalists worldwide.
Mr Trump has been silent on his Fake News Awards since last week, when he postponed the event to this Wednesday.
Such respected U.S. media organisations as the New York Times, Washington Post, ABC and CNN have clashed repeatedly with the Trump administration and could be singled out again for a Fake News Award. "But constant cries of "fake news" undercut this type of reporting and strip activists of one of their most powerful tools of dissent". When asked about the ceremony on Tuesday afternoon, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the awards were a "potential event".
It is unclear whether the awards are, well, real.
"He lies all the time, every day", she said.
Trump has still not begun the award show as of 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. He has threatened to continue his attempt to discredit the free press by bestowing "fake news awards" upon reporters and news outlets whose coverage he disagrees with. In response to Trump's announcement that he would present fake news awards, CPJ awarded him for "Overall Achievement in Undermining Global Press Freedom".
According to excerpts released by his office, Flake will say that Trump's description of the press as the enemy of the people is a "testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by Josef Stalin to describe his enemies". For they are shameful, repulsive statements. ".Ultimately, freedom of information is critical for a democracy to succeed". "Authoritarian leaders feel like they have this great new framework in 'fake news, '" Simon says.