Jen Psaki Warns That Journalists Need Protection Against Trump’s Authoritarian Threats

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During a segment on her MSNBC show this weekend, former Biden administration official-turned-host Jen Psaki sounded an alarm about potential ramifications of the path that Donald Trump is envisioning for the potential second term as president that he is currently seeking.

In general terms, the former president-turned-continued front-runner for the GOP’s presidential nomination in 2024 has recently been expanding his affronts against the media, including with a recent rant on Truth Social in which he clamored for federal action in response to some of the coverage on MSNBC. “Our so-called “government” should come down hard on them and make them pay for their illegal political activity. Much more to come, watch!” Trump said, discussing the network and complaining about their coverage he cast as a political operation.

“He’s threatening to use the power of the government against media he believes is being critical of him,” Psaki said.

“Trump’s Truth Social post may have seemed unhinged and crazy and random and like you could ignore it,” Psaki said. “It was actually, though, a threat to the free press. A threat to democracy. […] Putin and Xi are models for Trump. We know that. Leaders who jail and silence journalists. Leaders who do not tolerate free speech. That’s what Trump is threatening. And if you don’t think he’s eager to use those tactics — if you don’t think he is dying to silence his critics in the media, think again.”

Even if it’s come with tentative caveats, Trump has repeatedly praised foreign authoritarians like the Russian and Chinese figures who she mentioned, characterizing them as intelligent — even though the actual results of their policies have frequently been repression and overt destruction like in the case of Russia’s war against Ukraine. Trump has also spoken about potentially pursuing the criminal prosecution of political adversaries if he regains the presidency and talked about restarting the Muslim-targeting travel bans from his earlier tenure. Check out Psaki’s commentary below: