The not-so-subtle inclination of Donald Trump toward totalitarian rule has been apparent for some time. He has repeatedly expressed his admiration for strongman dictators like Erdogan, Jong-Un, Hussein, and Vladimir Putin. What’s more, the alleged “dealmaker” is nakedly hostile to compromise or to accommodating opinions that differ from his own. It’s either conform to Trumpism or be denigrated as a lying, crooked, enemy of America.
In an interview Sunday, Trump’s Chief-of-Staff, Reince Priebus, affirmed the authoritarian aspirations of this president. ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl asked Priebus about Trump’s prior statements concerning punishing or restricting the press when he doesn’t like what they say about him. That question led to this ominous exchange (video below):
KARL: I want to ask you about two things the President has said on related issues. First of all, there was what he said about opening up the libel laws. Tweeting “the failing New York Times has disgraced the media world. Gotten me wrong for two solid years. Change the libel laws?” That would require, as I understand it, a constitutional amendment. Is he really going to pursue that? Is that something he wants to pursue?
PRIEBUS: I think it’s something that we’ve looked at. How that gets executed or whether that goes anywhere is a different story. But when you have articles out there that have no basis or fact and we’re sitting here on 24/7 cable companies writing stories about constant contacts with Russia and all these other matters . . .
KARL: So you think the President should be able to sue the New York Times for stories he doesn’t like?
PRIEBUS: Here’s what I think. I think that newspapers and news agencies need to be more responsible with how they report the news. I am so tired . . .
KARL: I don’t think anybody would disagree with that. It’s about whether or not the President should have a right to sue them.
PRIEBUS: And I already answered the question. I said this is something that is being looked at. But it’s something that as far as how it gets executed, where we go with it, that’s another issue.
Priebus could not have been more clear. The President is actively considering changes to the Constitution that would put the free press at risk. The changes he is considering would permit retaliation from hostile government officials seeking revenge for unfavorable coverage. Even short of litigation, such a move would have a chilling effect on journalists.
Trump has openly expressed his animosity toward the press. He calls them sleazy, liars, and “fake news” (although apparently without any understanding of what that phrase means). During the campaign he corralled them in pens and revoked the credentials of those he felt were not sufficiently adoring. His comments have even put some of them at risk for physical harm.
Trump’s consolidation of control goes beyond just the media. This weekend he also complained about the processes in Congress that interfere with him getting his way. “The rules of the Senate,” he said, “in some of the things you have to go through, it’s really a bad thing for the country in my opinion. They’re archaic rules.” In other words, he is opposed to the sort of democratic form of government wherein the people’s representatives work together to shape a consensus on legislation. He prefers dictating his demands and having everyone comply unquestioningly.
The purpose of these assaults on the Constitution is to delegitimize any criticism or opposition, no matter how appropriate. Trump wants only positive stories about him and his administration. And he will not tolerate anyone exposing his frequent mistakes, misstatements and lies. For that reason, every American should be wary of Trump’s efforts to silence the press. And particularly any attempt to codify such censorship into law or Constitutional amendments.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
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10 thoughts on “BE AFRAID: Trump Admin is ‘Looking At’ Amending or Abolishing the First Amendment”
Anyone with more than two ounces of common sense would know that this isn’t going to happen. You’re getting silly now.
Pardon me for listening to what the Trump admin says. I should know better.
Yet Trump still said what he did.
Still taking him “Seriously but not Literally” I see.
If you don’t already know, that translates to “giving him a free pass for whatever he says.”
So, let’s see, once again, the Lord Emperor is talking about pursuing policies they always accused Obama of seeking?
Not that we want to see the cretin win a second term, but it would be very interesting to hear how the FoxPods and TrumpBots treat any desire by Trump for a THIRD term….
Let’s start with the Donald Drumpf (R) Cabinet since they and he have Lied repeatedly about their Russian involvements, along with Donnie boy who has been Sued numerous times for his Lying in Contracts and Bankruptcies. The Citizens of the United States should ban together to Sue all the Trump’s Corporations which are using our Nation’s White House for their garage sales on Government money. The boys travel with Secret Service protection to make Money for themselves and Donnie boy has taken $12 Million dollars worth of golf trips in 100 days. Ivanka met with the Chinese Communists at Marlargo to get a Special Trade deal for her line of Foreign made trinkets. Donnie boy wants to take away our First Amendment and just said so.
More proof that sack of skunk s**t, dump, has NO business in the white house.
Reince Preibus is a closet homosexual.
What kind of stupid remark is that? You know that you demean homosexuals when you post garbage like that.
Not that you or any of your FoxPod brethren wouldn’t have said anything similar about, say, David Brock or any of your hated Democrats….
Let him sue the press. They would then, in open court, cite all their sources and how they tracked down their information. He’d be a fool to open that can of worms. But, we’ve already established that he IS a fool. However, on the other hand, it would make anyone be able to sue FOX for their baseless nonsense. Be careful what you wish for Donnie boy.
But there’s no way the First Amendment will be changed. Wait… I also thought that about Trump becoming president…
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