Trump's chief of staff claims that changing libel law is “something we've looked at,” referring to the Trump administration's war on the free press.
Reince Priebus, a top aide for Trump, claims that changes to libel law may be necessary to protect free speech… because apparently silencing people who disagree with you is a good way to do that.
“How it gets executed or whether that goes anywhere is a different story,” Priebus said. “Newspapers and news agencies need to be more responsible with how they report the news.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 30, 2017
Yeah, ok, that's big talk coming from someone who works for the idiot who's irresponsibly running this country from his personal Twitter account. Wanna talk about responsibility? Let's start with not making wild accusations without any proof to back it up.
Not only that, but what he's wanting to do would be nearly impossible. These laws differ from state to state, and there's no federal law on the books for it (nor should there be.) The only way to do that would be to erode the freedoms of the press, or in other words, do away with the first amendment. You know, the one that protects free speech.
Trump has been making these attacks ever since the campaign trail, since he didn't particularly like what the news publications were saying about him.
“One of the things I'm going to do if I win, and I hope we do and we're certainly leading. I'm going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money. We're going to open up those libel laws. So when The New York Times writes a hit piece which is a total disgrace or when The Washington Post, which is there for other reasons, writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they're totally protected,” Trump once said at a rally.
New York Times editor-in-chief Dean Baquet says that these comments are “dangerous,” and that Trump is just trying to make the media “sort of the punching bag.”
“We're supposed to be tough, we're supposed to ask him hard questions. I'm not sure he gets that,” Baquet went on to say. “The more he beats us up, to be frank, I think that's bad for the country. I think it's bad for the free flow of information and criticism.”
CNN's Carl Bernstein criticized the comments as well, saying that Trump's attitude towards the press has been nothing short of “venomous.”
“We have a president who doesn't understand the Constitution, who is ignorant of (the media's) history,” Bernstein said. “He deserves our respect as the duly elected president of the United States. That does not mean he does not deserve to be called out when he lies.”