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Trump threatens to ‘change libel laws’ to go after NY Times

President Trump lashed out at The New York Times again on Thursday morning, threatening to change libel laws in order to prosecute the newspaper for “getting him wrong.” 

In the tweet, Trump linked to a New York Post opinion piece alleging that the Times was biased against Trump and “ethically challenged.”

{mosads}Trump previously mentioned changing libel laws during the campaign. He vowed in February 2016 to “open up” laws in order to sue media outlets that write “purposely negative” and “horrible” articles about him.

“I’m gonna open up our libel laws, so when they write purposely negative and horrible, false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money,” Trump said at a rally in Fort Worth, Texas.

“We’re going to open up those libels laws, so that 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.

“You 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. We’re going to open up libel laws, and we’re going to have people sue you like you’ve never got sued before,” he said.

Trump this week has tweeted about the New York Times for three consecutive days.

On Tuesday, the president first tweeted the New York Post article, saying that “The failing @NYTimes would do much better if they were honest!”

On Wednesday morning he tweeted, “Remember when the failing @nytimes apologized to its subscribers, right after the election, because their coverage was so wrong. Now worse!”

The New York Times promptly responded on Twitter, saying that the company never apologized. “We stand by our coverage & thank our millions of subscribers for supporting our journalism,” the Times said. 

In a meeting last November with Times editors, Trump called the newspaper “a great, great American jewel.”

While the president continues to bash the paper, the increased attention has only helped its business. The company said subscriptions doubled last year during the election and its stock jumped again on Thursday after the president’s tweet.

Despite Trump’s threats, there are no federal libel laws on the books. Suits are decided at the state level under current law.

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