On ABC's "This Week," host Jonathan Karl interviewed President Trump's chief of staff, former GOP Chairman Reince Priebus.
Priebus said on Sunday that the administration has “looked at” changing libel law so that Trump can answer allegedly false reports by media outlets. Karl questioned Priebus about a statement Trump made in March that he was looking to “change libel laws” in order to counter reports made by the New York Times. “That would require, as I understand it, a constitutional amendment,” Karl said. “Is he really going to pursue that?”
“I think it’s something that we’ve looked at, and how that gets executed or whether that goes anywhere is a different story,” Priebus said.
“So you think the President should be able to sue the New York Times for stories he doesn’t like?” Karl asked, “I think that newspapers and news agencies need to be more responsible with how they report the news,” Priebus said. “I am so tired.”
"I don’t think anyone would disagree with that,” Karl said. “It’s about whether or not the President should have the right to sue them.”
“And I already answered the question. I said this is something that is being looked at,” Priebus said. “But it’s something that, as far as how it gets executed, where we go with it, that’s another issue.”
JONATHAN KARL: Before you go, we have a segment coming up with Ann Coulter and Robert Reich, of course there’s a big controversy at Berkeley over freedom of speech. I want to ask you about two things the president has said on related issues. First of all, there was what he said about opening up the libel laws, tweeting, “the failing New York Times has disgraced the media world. Gotten me wrong for two solid years. Change the libel laws?” That would require, as I understand it, a constitutional amendment. Is he really going to pursue that? Is that something he wants to pursue?
REINCE PRIEBUS: I think it's something that we’ve looked at, and how that gets executed or whether that goes anywhere is a different story. But when you have articles out there that have no basis or fact and we're sitting here on 24/7 cable companies writing stories about constant contacts with Russia. And all these other matters that --
KARL: So you think the president should be able to sue The New York Times for stories he doesn't like?
PRIEBUS: Here’s what I think. I think that newspapers and news agencies need to be more responsible with how they report the news. I'm so tired --
KARL: I don't think anybody would disagree with that. It's about whether or not the president should have a right to sue them.
PRIEBUS: And I already answered the question. I said this is something that is being looked at, but it’s something that as far as how it gets executed, where we go with it, that’s another issue. But I think this is a frustration of unnamed sources of things that the FBI has told me personally is complete B.S., written in a newspaper article, in my office, one on one, this, here, is not true. And guess what? But it's sitting there on the front page. So how is it possible? And what do we have? Twenty-four/seven cable about a story about intelligence that the actual intelligence agency says is not true. Yet we deal with it every day.