If there is one thing Donald Trump loves the most, besides his massive wealth (and his daughter Ivanka, of course), it is suing people.
The Republican presidential nominee recently threatened to sue The New York Times over an article about his alleged sexual misconduct. Then, during a speech that was supposed to detail plans for the first 100 days of his presidency, the media mogul made similar litigious threats to the numerous women — 11, so far — who have accused him of inappropriate behavior and sexual abuse.
Trump also wants to sue media outlets giving these women the coverage, which isn’t surprising considering his complicated relationship with the press.
During an interview with CBS Miami in Doral, Florida, the White House hopeful suggested he would look to curtail the First Amendment because it offers “too much protection” to free speech.
“Our press is allowed to say whatever they want and get away with it,” Trump told reporter Jim DeFede. “And I think we should go to a system where if they do something wrong . . . I’m a big believer, tremendous believer, of the freedom of the press. Nobody believes it stronger than me. But if they make terrible, terrible mistakes and those mistakes are made on purpose to injure people — I’m not just talking about me I’m talking anybody else — then yes, I think you should have the ability to sue them.”
The racist billionaire claiming “nobody believes [in freedom of the press] stronger than me” sounds frighteningly similar to his remark in the last presidential debate: “Nobody respects women more than me.”
Well, we all know how that turned out.
Trump also recommended that the United States move to a system more like the United Kingdom, where people suing media agencies have “a good chance of winning.”
“Well, in England they have a system where you can actually sue if someone says something wrong,” he added. “In England you have a good chance of winning. And deals are made and apologies are made. Over here they don’t have to apologize. They can say anything they want about you or me and there doesn’t have to be any apology. England has a system where if they are wrong things happen.”
However, as Think Progress pointed out, even if we adapt to English defamation law, which places the burden of proof on journalists rather than the plaintiff, Trump will still have a hard time winning against The New York Times — or his accusers, for that matter.
Firstly, many of Trump’s accusers have witnesses to corroborate the story. As for the Times, they can just use the “public interest” amendment and escape liability.
Watch the interview in the video above.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Carlos Barria