Donald Trump attacks the First Amendment . . . again

Donald Trump attacked the First Amendment yesterday, but it’s not the first time. He’s been attacking the First Amendment along with the rest of the Constitution ever since his days as a candidate.

At a campaign rally in Fort Worth, TX, early in 2016 that Donald Trump stood before his adoring worshipers and launched one of his trademark tirades against “fake news.” While his rant mentioned a few of the usual suspects, such as the Washington Post and the NY Times, it was what Trump said he would do to the providers of what he called “negative and false articles” that caused Constitution-loving Americans to stand up and take notice.

“One of the things I’m going to do if I win, and I hope we do and we’re certainly leading. I’m going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money. We’re going to open up those libel laws. So when The New York Times writes a hit piece which is a total disgrace or when The Washington Post, which is there for other reasons, writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they’re totally protected.

“You see, with me, they’re not protected, because I’m not like other people but I’m not taking money. I’m not taking their money. We’re going to open up libel laws, and we’re going to have people sue you like you’ve never got sued before.”

He’s right. They are “totally protected” thanks to the First Amendment. By the way, did you notice that Trump said that “they’re not protected” with him in office? An obvious admission that he planned to ignore his promise to “protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Even though Trump repeated his “fake news” spiel throughout his campaign, this threat to the Constitution went largely unnoticed because he said lots of stupid things during his campaign. Unfortunately, now that he’s president, Trump has continued to call for ways to deny the news media its First Amendment rights–even going so far as to call the media “the enemy of the American people

Not long afterwards, Trump repeated his demand for changes to libel laws following an unfavorable NY Times news piece about his administration. Additionally, Trump shut out unfavorable news outlets from the White House Briefing Room and loaded it with news and non-news media he knew would say nice things about him.

And that brings us to yesterday. Following a story by NBC News about Rex Tillerson calling Donald Trump a “moron” and threatening to resign following Trump’s disastrous speech to the Boy Scouts a few months ago, Trump tweeted out a call for the Senate Intelligence Committee to investigate what he called the “Fake News Networks.”

Thomas Jefferson once stated, “Our liberty depends upon the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.” Words to remember in the age of Trump.

FOOTNOTE: In case you haven’t noticed, Trump’s “fake news” accusations are usually directed at news outlets that refuse to massage his massive ego. And it’s this narcissistic behavior mixed with his ignorance of the Constitution that not only serves as a threat to our First Amendment rights, but a host of other rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

 

Don't Feed The RINOsDavid Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative, your source for opinion that’s politically-incorrect and always “right.” His articles can also be found on RedState.com.

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