The Guardian reports:
A day after Watergate reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward issued a stirring call for the press to hold Donald Trump to account, the president’s chief of staff said the White House is actively considering a change to libel laws affecting news reporting.
“I think it’s something that we’ve looked at,” said Reince Priebus, appearing on ABC’s This Week. “How that gets executed and whether that goes anywhere is a different story.”
On the campaign trail last year, Trump responded to reporting on his policies and background by floating the possibility of a change to libel laws. Such a move would in reality require a change to the US constitution, which enshrines freedom of the press in the First Amendment, the Supreme Court having ruled on the issue.
Undaunted, the president returned to the theme on Thursday, writing on Twitter: “The failing [New York Times] has disgraced the media world. Gotten me wrong for two solid years. Change libel laws?”
— Evan McMurry (@evanmcmurry) April 30, 2017
This is marching America down the road to authoritarianism. Reince Preibus statements on stifling the press should alarm even Republicans. https://t.co/p7yTZaFCyq
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) April 30, 2017
I’ve always admired Reince’s work at RNC. But those words should follow him through the rest of his career. https://t.co/L6s2mDLXfW
— David Frum (@davidfrum) April 30, 2017