White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said Sunday the Trump administration considered changes to libel laws that could limit certain freedoms of the press, but contended that whether any changes happen is a “different story.”
Priebus said in an interview on ABC’s “The Week” that change in the libel laws have been considered.
“I think it’s something that we’ve looked at. How that gets executed or whether that goes anywhere is a different story,” Priebus said, adding that the media needs to be “more responsible with how they report news.”
Priebus’ comments came after President Trump railed against the media Sunday at his Pennsylvania rally to celebrate his first 100 days in office. Trump said the media deserved a “failing grade.” Trump also jabbed the New York Times, claiming that the paper’s poor finances forced to shrink its print edition.
“The paper’s getting smaller and smaller. Did you ever notice? It’s starting to look like a comic book.” Trump said.
Trump had previously warned about changing libel laws during a February 2016 campaign rally in Texas. Then, he warned The New York Times and The Washington Post that they could possibly be sued.
“When they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money,” Trump said at that rally. He later told Fox News that he “loves” the free press, but “we ought to open up the libel laws, and I’m going to do that.”