Republican National Committeee Chairman turned White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus has revealed that President Trump’s administration has “looked at” the potential of changing libel laws and free speech protections.
During a Sunday morning sit down with ABC’s Jonathan Karl, Donald Trump’s March 2017 tweet surroundng the “dishonesty” of the New York Times was brought up as a topic of discussion.
“The failing New York Times has disgraced the media world,” Trump’s tweet reads. “Gotten me wrong for two sold years. Change libel laws?”
“That would require, as I understand it, a constitutional amendment,” Karl pointed out. “Is he really going to pursue that? Is that something he wants to pursue?”
“I think it’s something we’ve looked at,” Priebus confirmed. “How that gets executed, or whether that goes anywhere, is a different story.”
The Trump administration’s rhetoric in opposition to the media is nothing new, and neither are Donald Trump’s promises of overhauling mass media.
It was in a February 2016 speech that then-candidate Trump vowed “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.”
However, the process of changing these laws is not quite as easy some may fear.
Libel laws are all varying by state. In this moment, no federal libel law exists.
The weakening of the free speech of the press would more than likely be the result of a constitutional amendment, specifically the first amendment.
Nonetheless, it’s not impossible, and the subject takes its place as one on that requires frequent monitoring.
Watch the full interview clip below.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 30, 2017