By Mike Cavender, RTDNA Executive Director
Along with asking former FBI Director James Comey to drop the Bureau’s investigation of Michael Flynn, the New York Times reported Tuesday that President Trump also talked about putting reporters in jail for publishing classified information. The information came to light after Comey wrote a detailed memo for his files about his conversation with Trump and the contents were provided to the Times.
Whether it was more of Trump’s hyperbole or if he really believes that should be done is unknown. He often complains about the media and leaks and continues to tout his claim that much of what is broadcast and published is fake news.
RTDNA agrees with the Reporter’s Committee for Freedom of the Press that no President has the right to jail journalists. Courts and judges exist to determine what’s right and what’s wrong. The Justice Department has generally widely honored the concept of a free press, including when addressing issues involving leaks.
Trump’s comments are just another example of the need for journalists to stand up in defense of the First Amendment. That’s the reason why RTDNA formed its Voice of the First Amendment Task Force. We hope you’ll join with us and support our efforts.