The man who has lowered the bar on presidential civility and, well, maturity by calling competing candidates and world leaders childish names, disparaging the appearance of women (not to mention boasting about pawing them), telling so many lies that fact-checkers are having meltdowns, et cetera, et cetera, is so stung by criticism, perceived insults, and alleged lies that he wants to stop publication of the Trump inner circle tell-all book, Fire and Fury. He’s sicked his snarling shysters on the author, trying to intimidate him in order to derail release of the book. Trump’s legal storm troopers are making the spurious claim Trump is libeled and slandered. So much for the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of speech.
A President, or any other public official for that matter, cannot be libeled or slandered. A public official is fair game, even for lies or misinformation. If that weren’t the case, almost every candidate for the presidency in recent years would be awaiting sentencing. There’s only one narrow exception, and three things – all of them - must happen for that exception to kick in. 1. It must be proved that the statement about the President is untrue. 2. Then it must be proved that the source of the statement knew it to be false. 3. Then it must be proved that the source intended to do damage to the President’s reputation or livelihood by making the false and defamatory statement. I don’t think Mr. Trump would get past step 1.
There is hardly a precious Constitutional freedom that the current “Leader of the Free World” has not threatened or ignored. We need not delve deep into history to see representative governments overthrown and dictatorships arise. For a long time we have deluded ourselves into believing that the rise of a Nazi-like cabal (or 1984 dystopia) could not possibly happen in America. But, unfortunately, it most certainly can if we sit by idly, turning a blind eye to the goons as our rights are toppled like so many bowling pins by a clueless and vindictive chief executive.