Trump Suggests Changes to Libel Laws Over Woodward Book

September 5, 2018, 3:26 PM UTC

President Donald Trump will seemingly stop at nothing to discredit Bob Woodward.

After accounts from the journalist’s forthcoming book Fear were released on Tuesday, Trump went on a tweet storm, posting statements from colleagues who denied content from the book as well as his own denials.

By Wednesday morning, Trump appeared to go so far as to question the country’s libel laws, writing on Twitter, “Isn’t it a shame that someone can write an article or book, totally make up stories and form a picture of a person that is literally the exact opposite of the fact, and get away with it without retribution or cost.”

“Don’t know why Washington politicians don’t change libel laws?” he added.

Despite Trump’s tweet, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday morning that she hasn’t “had the conversation” with the president about any legal action he might pursue against Woodward. But Sanders did appear on several morning shows on Wednesday to reiterate the administration’s statement that the book is “nothing more than fabricated stories.”

This is not the first time that Trump has issued a legal threat—and in most other cases, he has not followed through. He even made a similar call for a change to libel laws in January, following the publication of Michael Wolff’s Fire & Fury. At the time, Trump called the laws “a sham and a disgrace,” claiming that they “do not represent American values and American fairness.” He said that the administration would take a “very, very strong look at that,” but if any assessment has been undertaken, it has not been revealed to the public.

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