Comedians slam Trump's attack on nation's 'sham' libel laws

  • Comedians slam Trump's attack on nation's 'sham' libel laws

Comedians slam Trump's attack on nation's 'sham' libel laws

Just last week, Trump's private attorneys sent a threatening letter to the publisher of "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House" just before publication, warning of libel liability if the book were released - which of course it was.

"Trump said he wants people who are the subject of false claims to have "meaningful recourse in our courts". And that bar is even higher for libel suits brought by public officials because of the power they wield in society.

"Our country's libel laws are a sham and a disgrace, and do not reflect American values of fairness", Trump said at a Cabinet meeting Wednesday.

Over the weekend, Trump said "libel laws are very weak in this country" and that "if they were strong", the book wouldn't have been published in the first place. "Look, the president is upset and frustrated with the misreporting and fake news that regularly takes place".

President Donald Trump listens during a meeting with lawmakers on immigration policy in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Jan. 9, 2018, in Washington, D.C.

Trump has called the author Michael Wolff a fraud who made up material for the book, but Wolff said he spent many days months inside the West Wing for his reporting.

Trump's longtime personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, filed a defamation lawsuit against BuzzFeed News for publishing, last January, a salacious and mostly unsubstantiated intelligence dossier that purported to describe how Russian Federation had aided the Trump campaign.

If you've been paying attention to the politics and policies of President Trump at least over the last two years, you'll notice something very unusual has been happening, particularly this week.

State courts and state legislatures are responsible for codifying protections against libel and defamation.

The justices unanimously ruled that the First Amendment protects statements about public figures, including false ones, unless officials can prove actual malice.

But unless you work in journalism, Hollywood or politics, it is unlikely you will ever have to learn much about defamation law, a patchwork of state laws that govern the crime of publishing deliberately false statements about someone with the intent of damaging that person.

He added: "You can't say things that are false, knowingly false, and be able to smile as money pours into your bank account".