Donald Trump has been pretty busy lately trying to swat away allegations of corruption and ineptitude — and possibly senility! But he never counted on having to defend himself against charges like that from within his own administration.
That’s exactly what happened though, with the release of Michael Wolff’s book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. The details that have come out of that book – which is currently a bestseller – have been both confounding and terrifying for the President.
That’s why on Wednesday, just prior to a big Cabinet meeting, Trump read from a prepared statement regarding his intention to follow through with a campaign promise nobody really took seriously at the time: “Opening up” libel laws to make it easier to sue writers that publish unflattering accounts of you.
“We are going to take a strong look at our country’s libel laws so that when somebody says something that is false and defamatory about someone, that person will have meaningful recourse in our courts. And if somebody says something that’s totally false and knowingly false, that the person that has been abused, defamed, libeled, will have meaningful recourse.”
Trump did not detail what “meaningful recourse” would entail, nor a “strong look,” but instead continued to foam at the mouth about what he thinks is unfair:
“Our current libel laws are a sham and a disgrace and do not represent American values and American fairness. We’re going to take a very, very strong look at that.”
Trump had initially threatened to sue the author of Fire and Fury and its publisher, before presumably realizing that he would then have to be deposed under oath at the very least to mount a case against them. Trump has threatened to sue many, many people over the years, although of those he actually does follow through with, he’s won only a tiny fraction of cases.
The ironic part is that the definition of libel in America requires that the person accused has created an unjustly unfavorable impression of you through their words. First, Trump would have to admit that people didn’t like him in order to prove that people were made to not like him by someone’s book.
But “unfavorable” is perhaps too soft a term for the view most Americans have of Trump, and it certainly doesn’t come from anyone else’s words or actions.
Watch the president’s incoherent rantings here:
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