Lawmakers slam Priebus for libel law comments

Greg Nash

Lawmakers slammed White House chief of staff Reince Priebus’s remark from Sunday that the Trump administration is considering changing libel laws.

“I think it’s something that we’ve looked at, and how that gets executed or whether that goes anywhere is a different story,” Priebus told ABC’s “This Week.”

That drew rebukes from both parties, with Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) urging Americans to “fight any effort to abridge the freedom of speech or the press.”

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) — a frequent social media of the Trump administration — said Priebus’s statements “should alarm even Republicans” and said such action would be “marching America down the road to authoritarianism.”

Trump repeatedly spoke in favor of “opening up” libel laws during the campaign “so when [media] write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money.”

Any change to libel laws would likely require a constitutional amendment, because there are no federal libel laws.

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