resident Donald Trump on Wednesday called for tougher libel laws, saying the current iteration is a "sham and a disgrace" as he addressed his Cabinet and reporters at the White House.
"Can't say things that are false, knowingly false, and be able to smile as money pours into your bank account," Trump said at his Cabinet meeting. "We are going to take a very, very strong look at that."
Conservatives and liberals have largely agreed that there should be a high bar for libel claims from public officials, requiring the officials to show actual malice — or that the news organization knew the claims were false before publishing them.
Trump's complaints about libel are not new; he has somewhat regularly called for tougher libel laws as he has smarted over news coverage, decried "fake" news and pointed out corrections from news outlets. Those calls have drawn sharp denunciations from legal scholars and news organizations.
The president has been particularly aggrieved after the publication of Michael Wolff's "Fire and Fury," which depicts his White House as chaotic, beset by infighting and incompetent, at least in the early days of his administration. The president has also uttered a number of falsehoods about others, such as saying then-President Barack Obama was not born in the United States. According to The Washington Post, Trump has made about 2,000 false or misleading statements since taking office.
It is unlikely that Congress would take up a move to change libel laws.
The meeting was unlike past Cabinet meetings, which have been marked by officials praising the president. Trump recited a number of accomplishments from his administration, including the tax bill that passed last year, the rising economy and the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court....Read more at Chicago Tribune