On Tuesday, Trump met with lawmakers from both parties at the White House in front of the press for an extended period of time in which he appeared to agree on building a border wall, ending chain migration and the visa lottery system.
"President Trump's threat to revise our country's libel laws is, frankly, not credible", the American Civil Liberties Union said in a statement on Wednesday. He can look all he wants, but he can't do anything about it. Cue cable news fainting anyway.
As a presidential candidate, Mr. Trump made sport of the reporters who stood in fenced-off areas during his speeches, often whipping up the crowd against them.
Michael Wolff questioned Trump's fitness for the presidency in his tell-all book, "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House", about the inner working of the White House. "I think what the American people want to see is fairness".
Under current US libel and defamation laws, which staunchly protect the First Amendment, would-be plaintiffs must prove that a media company knowingly and purposefully published false information, which is a very high bar to clear.
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The president admits this was an added bonus that "frankly nobody even thought about... we just knew a lot of good things were going to happen".
Trump tweet: We should have a contest as to which of the Networks, plus CNN and not including Fox, is the most dishonest, corrupt and/or distorted in its political coverage of your favorite President (me).
In the United States, libel and defamation are largely governed by state law, but within the restrictions of the First Amendment. The justices wrote that limitations on libel laws reflect our "profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide‐open, and that it may well include vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials".
Instead of letting his statement end there - or even elaborating on what "taking a strong look" at libel laws would entail - Trump continued to rant about how hard it is for public figures to sue writers in the United States. That standard derives from a 1964 Supreme Court ruling, New York Times Co. v. Sullivan.