Stung by Wolff Book, Trump Calls for Stronger US Libel Laws

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Reuters that Trump's comments came in response to the Wolff's recently-released Fire and Fury, which includes several explosive claims about the president, including that White House staffers believe he behaves like a child.

"Somebody said to me on that, they said, 'You know, it's a great idea softening up those laws, but you may get sued a lot more, '" Mr. Trump, who propagated false rumors that Barack Obama was born in Africa and that the father of Senator Ted Cruz had aided the assassination of John F. Kennedy, said at the time. The president echoed an authoritarian overtone toward the First Amendment during Wednesday's public portion of a White House cabinet meeting. "Our current libel laws are a sham and a disgrace".

He went on to call current USA libel laws "a sham and a disgrace and do not represent American values or American fairness, so we're going to take a strong look at that".

"Certainly states should take a look at [libel laws]", she told us. Nor did he identify what, exactly, the administration will be "taking a very very strong look at".

Trump said he wants "fairness".

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During his remarks Trump swung from praising his own meeting coverage to telling journalists that they were dependent on his presidency for ratings to threatening a "strong look" at libel laws. "If they were strong, it would be very helpful". No lawsuit has yet been filed. Smith's stance is a rarity on Fox News which has become a mostly political safe space for the president and his White House.

He also pledged during his presidential campaign to "open up" libel laws "so when they write purposely negative and frightful, false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money".

The White House had to then clarify Trump's comments by emphasizing that the president still opposes legislation that protects the 800,000 Dreamers now living in the United States if it doesn't include border security measures, such as funding for the border wall. "It seems like what he really objects to is the Supreme Court decision New York Times v. Sullivan, which puts in place a standard of 'actual malice" for libel suits brought by public officials".

Attorneys for the publisher pushed back on the legal threat, writing to Harder that his letter "stops short of identifying a single statement in the book that is factually false or defamatory".

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