John McCain warned on Friday that the President of the US was starting to sound an awful lot like an up-and-coming dictator. Talking with NBC’s Chuck Todd, McCain had a lot to say about the role of the press in a free and liberal society.

Referring to the president’s provocative tweet that labeled several media outlets as “enemy of the American people', McCain said we need a #free press. "It's vital."

Six-year term and newfound power

After just being newly re-elected to another six-year term, Senator McCain was emphatic about the need for a free and adversarial press in an effort to preserve free democracy.

“That’s how #dictators get started,” he said. “They get started by suppressing a free press. In other words, a consolidation of power." Interestingly, trump's remarks about libel law point to his desire to restrict the press – even though his new judge seems unwilling to carry these initiatives through.

With senator john mccain's newly commissioned chairmanship of the powerful #Armed Services Committee comes great power and influence. Fittingly, McCain has been careful to capitalize on his standpoint to critique Trump, apparently pushing back on the new administration's national security policies for the past few weeks, according to the New York Times.

Long seen as a #political maverick, McCain has emerged as a defender of traditional Republican attitudes toward foreign policy and as a piercing critic of the new president.

He said that these were dangerous times, and asked European allies to try and count on America.

An international security conference in Munich

McCain delivered his fiery critique of Trump at a security conference in Munch on Friday, surrounded by other high-powered world leaders and European politicos who fear the oncoming winds of change in the global order.

They are trying to maintain a sense of stability in the seven-decade old alliance between European nations, and they are worried about Russia's position and apparent regard For Trump.

McCain's critique of President Trump’s 'America First' vision was celebrated by experts and allied officials worried about America's drift from the old alliance.

He told of the disarray of the new administration and described the amount of work that needed to be done. He conveyed his deep suspicions of Russia and his preference for free trade, something he has long championed.

McCain's fractious relationship with Trump goes back to the election cycle in 2016 when McCain remarked that Trump's immigration policies had garnered the support of 'crazies'. Trump responded by saying that 'I like people that weren’t captured,' referring to how McCain has been held – and tortured – for five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

McCain never actually mentioned Trump's name during the Munich conference, but by talking about the shift in universal values, the drifting of the NATO alliance and the lies brewing in Washington politics, his message was loud and clear.

McCain also said the 'growing inability, and even unwillingness, to separate truth from lies' and the harsh resentment and mistreatment of immigrants and minority groups would shock the founders of the United States.