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Trump Again Calls For Weakening Of U.S. Libel Laws

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Trump called U.S. libel laws "a sham and a disgrace", adding that he intends to "take a very, very strong look at that".

In prepared remarks Wednesday morning ahead of his Cabinet meeting, President Donald Trump again called for the strengthening of U.S. libel laws, saying he will take a "strong look" at such laws in the aftermath of Michael Wolff's book "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House".

“Our current libel laws are a sham and a disgrace and do not represent American values and American fairness,” he told reporters. “We're going to take a very, very strong look at that.”

Trump said he wants people who are the subject of false claims to have “meaningful recourse in our courts.”

This marks at least the third time since his bid for president began that he has called for "opening up" libel laws. But the president does not have such authority - it is up to state courts and legislatures to determine such laws. Further,

A 1964 Supreme Court decision, New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, set limits on what those libel laws can entail.

“We consider this case against the background of a profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open, and that it may well include vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials,” Justice William Brennan wrote in his opinion.