Senate

Dem senators introduce resolution calling on Trump to stop attacking the press

A group of Democratic senators introduced a resolution on Wednesday urging President Trump to respect the rights of the press.

Ten senators co-sponsored the measure, which was crafted in direct response to the White House barring CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins from covering an open press event last week after she repeatedly asked Trump about his relationship with his former attorney, Michael Cohen.

"Punishing reporters for simply doing their job is a strongman tactic that cannot be tolerated in a free democracy. President Trump may not like tough questions, but that's simply too bad," Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said in a statement.

"This resolution reaffirms our commitment to the First Amendment and calls on the President to respect our free press rather than demean and diminish it," he added.

The resolution condemns Trump for labeling the media "fake news," and the "enemy of the people," and also targets the president and the White House for its decision to "bar Kaitlan Collins from the White House."

The measure also serves as a formal show of support for reporters "to ask questions of powerful government officials," and to "feel free to do their duty without fear of reprisal from the Government."

Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Patty Murray (D-Wash.) Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Cory A. Booker (D-N.J.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) co-sponsored the resolution.

Trump has had a contentious relationship with the media since declaring his candidacy, and often seeks to discredit coverage he dislikes as "fake news." 

He has at times suggested pulling credentials from reporters, encouraged rally crowds to jeer media and escalated his attacks by labeling journalists the "enemy of the people."

In another incident, Trump supporters at a rally Tuesday heckled CNN reporter Jim Acosta.

"While we support freedom of the press, we also support freedom of speech. Those things go hand in hand," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday, when asked about the hecklers.

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