White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said on Sunday, during his interview with ABC’s George Karl, that Trump’s office is thinking about possible changes to libel law. According to The Washington Post, the mogul is upset with the media and wants some amendments to be done.
Trump still has some issues with specific publications
It’s not yet clear if anything will ever be proposed, but this would certainly be a big issue. Reince Priebus spoke a little bit in riddles, because it’s not a definitive thing that President Trump will really want to pursue libel law changes, which need a constitutional amendment. The 45-years old White House Chief of Staff said to George Karl that this subject it’s something that they’ve looked at, but how it gets executed or whether that goes anywhere is a different story.
This issue evolved after President Trump declared, in one of his tweets, the failing of ‘New York Times’, a publication he considers a disgrace to the media world, before adding that it’s time to change the libel laws.
Reince Priebus also said that the White House deals with all sorts of false accusations, like constant contacts with Russia, and it becomes really frustrating. Although possible changes to the libel law is an interesting topic, “something that we’ve looked at” doesn’t quite communicate any specific ideas.
False statements can lead to legal issues
Now, government officials can win libel cases if they show that someone is saying something false about them, that injures their reputation and that the speaker knows the statement is false, or is at least quite likely false.
A hard standard to meet, because it’s hard to prove the knowledge of falsehood or likely falsehood. Justice Byron White had a good proposal, to lower these standards to negligence, but with Donald Trump at the White House, you’re never sure what’s going to happen.