Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump lamented the freedom of the press in the U.S., and suggested the laws should be changed to look more like the U.K.'s on Oct. 23 (video below).
Trump was asked by WFOR if the First Amendment provided too much protection for the press, and the billionaire replied:
In England they have a system where you can actually sue if somebody says something wrong. Our press is allowed to say whatever they want and they can get away with it.
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.
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Trump was asked if he wanted the U.S. system to be more like the U.K. system, and he reportedly answered:
Well, 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.
Politico noted in February that Trump told a crowd in Fort Worth, Texas, that he wanted to change the libel laws:
I'm going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money. We're going to open up those libel laws.
Popular VideoThis young teenage singer was shocked when Keith Urban invited her on stage at his concert. A few moments later, he made her wildest dreams come true:
So when The New York Times writes a hit piece which is a total disgrace or when The Washington Post, which is there for other reasons, writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they're totally protected. See, with me, they're not protected because I'm not like other people, but I'm not taking money, I'm not taking their money.
Law Newz noted at the time that the U.S. Supreme Court would very likely rule Trump's proposed changes to be unconstitutional.
The site referred to the case of The New York Times v. Sullivan, in which the high court ruled that the First Amendment protects all published statements, even statements that turn out not to be true, unless someone can prove that the publisher purposely knew that the statements were false and published them anyway; the same applies to slander (oral reporting).