U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Trump administration calls for changing libel laws

Incident Details

REUTERS/Mike Stone

Trump says that he will open up libel laws during a campaign event in Fort Worth, Texas on February 26, 2016.

— REUTERS/Mike Stone
March 30, 2017

On March 30, 2017, President Trump tweeted, “The failing @nytimes has disgraced the media world. Gotten me wrong for two solid years. Change libel laws?”

There are currently no federal libel laws, and Supreme Court has said that plaintiffs must meet a very high standard in order to win a libel suit. Trump would have a difficult time following through on his threat, according to First Amendment lawyers.

This tweet is not the first time that Trump suggested changing libel laws. On Feb. 26, 2016, during the Republican primary campaign, Trump said that he wanted to “open up libel laws.”

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker catalogues press freedom violations in the United States. Email tips to [email protected].