Quantcast

Newly Released Comey Memo Leaves Journalists Even More Concerned For Their Freedoms

President Trump’s ongoing war with the news media may have reached the boiling point when he allegedly suggested jail time for reporters who disclose classified government information, according to Yahoo News.

The New York Times revealed a memo by former FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump fired last week, concerning a February conversation between the two men at the White House. In addition to seeking an end to the bureau’s investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, the president purportedly asked Comey to prosecute journalists. “Alone in the Oval Office, Mr. Trump began the discussion by condemning leaks to the news media, saying that Mr. Comey should consider putting reporters in prison for publishing classified information, according to one of Mr. Comey’s associates,” the Times story stated.

Joel Simon, executive director of the independent, non-profit Committee to Protect Journalists, told Yahoo News: “My immediate reaction is that it’s crazy and scary. It suggests that the kind of rhetorical attacks on the media that have become sort of background noise at this point — actually, there was an attempt by the president to translate those ideas into actions that could affect the ability of journalists to do their work.”

When asked to explain why his organization has called Trump an “unprecedented threat to press freedom,” Simon explained: “His language is unprecedented in terms of the way he talks about the media and views its role. The damage done by that language to rights of journalists around the world is very significant because he’s normalizing the kind of language that autocratic leaders generally use when they talk about the media.”

Simon slammed the president for inviting autocratic foreign leaders to the White House. “When he met with (Turkish President) Erdoğan ... he completed what we call the ‘Press Freedom Violators’ trifecta,” the CPJ director said. “He’s now met with the three leading jailers of journalists. He’s met with Erdoğan of Turkey, (President Abdel Fattah) el-Sisi of Egypt and Xi (Jinping) of China.”

Simon continued: “In terms of journalists in the United States, let’s acknowledge that the attacks have been rhetorical. Journalists find that chilling, but for the most part they’re able to do their jobs. But this is an escalation, or a potential escalation, so the threat is very real. This is a reminder, and what hasn’t been borne out, yet it still something we need to be cognizant of. … When he condemns American journalists as ‘enemies of the American people,’ or he lashes out and calls CNN ‘fake news,’ that’s alarming, obviously.”

Source: Yahoo News
Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Tell Us What You Think

More Fab Stories

We have our first concrete confirmation that First Lady Melania Trump is not infallible when it comes to fashion choices. While she was ridiculed...

“Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski alleged Thursday on “The View” that the way Donald Trump once hugged her was “pornographic.”

The...

A bizarre yet tragic attack occurred when a man on a walk with his wife was stabbed to death. Witnesses said it happened so fast that they didn't...

One attorney is fuming, even though her client has been cleared of all charges. She said the horrific charges, even though they've all been...

Every once in awhile, a random appearance on a talk show by a famous face can lead to gold being struck by the interviewer. That happened this...

Latest Fab Stories

President Donald Trump may have more legal troubles on his plate than whatever Special Counsel Robert Mueller may uncover as part of his...

Famous folks are generally protective of their likenesses, and for good reason. Advertisements featuring their name or image can make it appear as...

Just when you thought you had heard everything you needed to hear on the 2016 presidential campaign, some new interesting tidbits begin making the...

One of the most famous members of the world's scientific community recently issued a grave prediction.

The topic of climate change has come...

One woman wanted to make the best of the time she had left with the man she loved, so she married him. Unfortunately for her, the limited amount...