Will Trump Succeed in Repealing the First Amendment?

Frustrated with what it says is "biased" media coverage, the Trump administration is now openly talking about gutting the First Amendment.

They can't be serious - can they?

During an appearance on ABC's This Week Sunday - White House chief of staff Reince Priebus admitted that the Trump administration was looking into changing libel laws so it could sue people who publish critical stories.

Jonathan Karl: 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?

Reince Priebus: "I think it's something that we've looked at and how that gets executed or whether that goes anywhere is a different story."

It actually got worse from there :

Reince Priebus: News agencies need to be more responsible with how they report the news. I am so tired...

Jonathan Karl: I don't think anybody would disagree with that. It's about...

Reince Priebus: But everyone...

Jonathan Karl: -- whether or not the president should have a right to sue them.

Reince Priebus: And I already answered the question. I said this is something that is being looked at.

Making the changes to our libel laws that Trump apparently wants would require re-writing the First Amendment. For lack of a better term, WTF?


jimbeama's picture
jimbeama 6 years 3 weeks ago

I do find it obnoxious that his administration is taking this tack. However the risk of the constitution being amended to enable this has low probability. Getting the amendment saying corporations are not people and money is not speach stands a much better chance. I don't believe his voters would support this.

Riverplunge's picture
Riverplunge 6 years 3 weeks ago

This world is being trashed by idiot leaders.

stecoop01's picture
stecoop01 6 years 3 weeks ago

I will give Trump credit for being blatant about his desire to destroy the Constitution; other Repugnicans are secretive about their same desire, even posing as Constitution supporters.

Step one: repeal the First Amendment.

Step two: repeal the Second Amendment.

Step three:...

hummbaby's picture
hummbaby 6 years 3 weeks ago

tRUMP's plan: Make America a 3rd World Country and him KING!

Legend 6 years 3 weeks ago

They want to re-write the whole constitution. Fascism in progress.

johnbest's picture
johnbest 6 years 3 weeks ago

It's TREASON folks. Furthermore, any Republican who signs a bill to gut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, Meals on Wheels should be charged with premeditated murder. It was estimated by a doctor's group that 44,000 Americans a year would die among the 24 million who would lose medical care alone. There is no estimate as to how many would die if the rest of the social programs are cut as well. A group like Social Security Works or AARP should file a class action lawsuit against the Republicans in Congress. the GOP and the entire Trump mis-administration.

Willie W's picture
Willie W 6 years 3 weeks ago

We need to back up and start with politicians being held liable for making fake campaign promises.

ikeberltersen's picture
ikeberltersen 6 years 3 weeks ago

Republicans have a problem with truth, reality, verifiable facts and the results of scientific research. Anything that conflicts with the narrative that they are currently using is, according to them, anti-American. They have been playing this psycopathic game for a long time and are now doubling down with Trump at the helm. Any criticism or pushback from the media is tantamount to treason in their view. They want total power and they don't care what rules they have to break to get it. They have been creating an alternate reality for years. It starts with claiming that their story, based on 'alternative facts,' is just as valid as verifiable facts. Now they want to destroy a reality-based view of the world and replace it with their own fake reality. These people are out to destroy the rule of law, the constitution, and anything else that gets in their way. They must be stopped.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 6 years 3 weeks ago

This change in libel laws would be suicidal for Trump, Fox News, and Breitbart, etc. Looks like Paul Ryan's political suicide is rubbing off on Trump.

BTW: Has it occurred to anyone that Trump's comment on the Civil War might be a subconscious expression of frustration that hiding behind political justification for greed and power is useless when one is clearly on the wrong side of history?

The inhumanity of slavery and Jackson's trail of tears were both awful episodes in American history. I'm sure that both Jackson and later the citizens of the South thought their actions were justified at the time, but we all know different here in the 21st century.

Trump like the plantation owners of the deep south can't stop himself....he's out of control with his thirst for wealth and power, and just like the entire Republican Party is certainly on the wrong side of social, environmental, and economic history.

rickyluck 6 years 3 weeks ago

Would we then be able to sue Trump for the willful deception he presents throughout his campaign and his 100+ days?

deepspace's picture
deepspace 6 years 3 weeks ago

Here are a few choice, rather frightening excerpts from a recent interview with Timothy Snyder by Chauncey Devega over at Salon, which seem to fit right into the wider theme of this thread. I highlighted some of Snyder's statements that popped out at me. (Snyder is a professor of history at Yale University and an award winning author. His new book is "On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century.")

*For more of the interview:


*For the audio podcast link to the full interview (episode134):


... CD: "In my writings and interviews, I have consistently referred to Donald Trump as a fascist. I have received a great deal of resistance to that claim. Do you think this description is correct? ... "

TS: "... As I see it, there are certainly elements of his approach which are fascistic. The straight-on confrontation with the truth is at the center of the fascist worldview. The attempt to undo the Enlightenment as a way to undo institutions, that is fascism.

"Whether he realizes it or not is a different question, but that's what fascists did. They said, 'Don't worry about logic. Think instead in terms of mystical unities and direct connections between the mystical leader and the people.' That's fascism. Whether we see it or not, whether we like it or not, whether we forget, that is fascism.

"Another thing that's clearly fascist about Trump were the rallies. The way that he used the language, the blunt repetitions, the naming of the enemies, the physical removal of opponents from rallies, that was really, without exaggeration, just like the 1920s and the 1930s.

"And Mr. [Steve] Bannon's preoccupation with the 1930s and his kind of wishful reclamation of Italian and other fascists speaks for itself."

... CD: [TS says:] "'It's pretty much inevitable' that Trump will try to stage a coup and overthrow democracy." ...

... "How much time does American democracy have left before this poison becomes lethal and there is no path of return?"

TS: "You have to accept there is a time frame. Nobody can be sure how long this particular regime change with Trump will take, but there is a clock, and the clock really is ticking. It's three years on the outside, but in more likelihood something like a year. In January 2018 we will probably have a pretty good idea which way this thing is going. Its going to depend more on us than on them in the meantime. Once you get past a certain threshold, it starts to depend more on them than us, and things are much, much worse. It makes me sad to think how Americans would behave at that point."


Neutrino's picture
Neutrino 6 years 3 weeks ago

What I fear most is another attempt to become the next Germany of WWII. HItler succeeded in controling the media and making sure his opposition did not have a voice. It is exactly what Putin has accomplished in Russia.

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