Trump to have strong look at U.S. libel laws

Trump to have strong look at U.S. libel laws

Trump to have strong look at U.S. libel laws

Changing libel laws in the United States would likely need the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in. "We want fairness. You can't say things that are knowingly false and be able to smile as money pours into your bank account".

"There are no federal libel laws, so it will be hard for Trump to "open them up, ' as he called for during the campaign", said Alexandra Ellerbeck, the North America Program Coordinator for Committee to Protect Journalists".

The president said his position on the border wall will "never change", but on DACA, we "want to see something".

The 71-year-old president has been infuriated by the publication of "Fire and Fury", an incendiary tell-all book by author Michael Wolff about the inner workings of the White House.

Trump made the tautological - if vaguely threatening - statement to reporters at a cabinet meeting.

Trump has long threatened to sue people for perceived insults, but it is unclear whether he will be capable of following through on his promise.

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He successfully campaigned for the book's main source - former chief strategist Steve Bannon - to be forced out of his post-White House job as editor of Breitbart. Nor did he identify what, exactly, the administration will be "taking a very very strong look at". "We are going to take a very, very strong look at that".

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

"Trump is not changing - and he never will change - the libel laws in this country, despite his rhetoric", said Richard Roth, a NY based white collar litigator and founder of the Roth Law Firm. Libel cases are based on state laws, which neither the president nor Congress has control over because of our nation's federalist system.

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.

"If there is any likely change to libel-related laws as a result of Donald Trump the individual or Donald Trump the government official, it is likely to come in the form of increased protection for libel defendants who face a potential increase in frivolous lawsuits of the type he has filed (and lost) in the past", Kevin Goldberg, a First Amendment attorney at Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, told Poynter.

Many reporters covering the White House have received death threats and get regular hate mail from Trump supporters.

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