Comey Memos Reveal Unconstitutional Punishments Trump Wanted For Reporters

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It’s no secret that Donald Trump both hates the media and also craves being in the public eye every day. Although he endlessly touts himself as a successful businessman, wealthy and successful beyond words, he has worked his entire adult life to court celebrity and media exposure as if it were his primary job. Now that he has that nonstop exposure every day as president, he doesn’t seem very fond of it.

The reason for that sudden shift in opinion is his inability to control the narrative, and the newly released Comey memos that GOP lawmakers fought so hard to make public is a prime example of Trump’s helplessness to control the perception of his image since even his private interactions have now gone public. Although several of those private exchanges are jaw-droppingly concerning, Trump’s attacks on the media have reached a whole new level with one of Comey’s memos spell out the president’s willingness to subvert the Constitution to settle his own personal grudge.

For those who were flabbergasted by Trump’s statements calling the American press “an enemy of the people,” this particular exchange is particularly stunning. U.S. News & World Report writes that:

‘The documents also include the president’s musings about pursuing leakers and imprisoning journalists. Comey recounts an Oval Office discussion in which he told Trump it would be tricky legally to jail reporters.’

https://twitter.com/GreaterLDN/status/987274995159195649

For all the Trump supporters who do not seem to see how problematic these kinds of statements are, there is a piece of the U.S. Constitution that Republicans profess to love so much that may help them understand.

‘The First Amendment guarantees freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition.  It forbids Congress from both promoting one religion over others and also restricting an individual’s religious practices.  It guarantees freedom of expression by prohibiting Congress from restricting the press or the rights of individuals to speak freely.  It also guarantees the right of citizens to assemble peaceably and to petition their government.’

In other words, the First Amendment was written by the framers of the Constitution and Trump does not respect that.

There is definitely an issue when the man leading the country who took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution wants to use it to jail reporters who print unflattering stories about him. It is far more troubling when that same leader laughs at the thought that reporters who are jailed will give up sources once they are raped.

For those who were not concerned before these statements were released, although it’s hard to imagine that those same people will ever understand why it’s concerning, a president willing to violate the Constitution to protect his own image is alarming. For all the Trump supporters’ unfounded ranting about President Obama having done things they saw as unconstitutional, we’ll all be waiting for them to call for Trump’s impeachment.

Featured image via Getty/Joe Raedle