Trump Suggests Curtailing First Amendment
During an interview with CBS Miami, Donald Trump said he’d like to change the nature of the First Amendment in order to make it easier to file libel lawsuits against the media.
Trump spoke with Jim DeFede on Sunday, and he was asked about whether he feels that “too much protection” is given to the free press. Trump affirmed his belief on this issue, stating that America should lean towards the United Kingdom’s system for libel because it gives people who sue media agencies “a good chance of winning.”
“Our press is allowed to say whatever they want and get away with it. And I think we should go to a system where if they do something wrong… I’m a big believer tremendous believer of the freedom of the press. Nobody believes it stronger than me but if they make terrible, terrible mistakes and those mistakes are made on purpose to injure people. I’m not just talking about me I’m talking anybody else then yes, I think you should have the ability to sue them.”
Under English law, defamatory statements are assumed to be false, and the burden of proof lies with the defendant to show that their statement is true. While Trump talked about this system, Trump said that the American press is never compelled to apologize, and that “they can say anything they want about you or me and there doesn’t have to be any apology.”
Trump’s relationship with the media has been complicated to say the very least. Throughout his campaign, Trump blacklisted news agencies for months, ranted about “dishonest” journalists numerous times, and has threatened to expand libel laws as president.
Recently, the litigious Trump has threatened to sue The New York Times for publishing his old tax information. He has also made similar legal threats to sue the women accusing him of sexual abuse, along with media outlets giving them coverage.