Trump’s war on the press just went from vague threats to a very, very specific one.
In an unprecedented move, Trump’s former campaign manager and recently rehired advisor Corey Lewandowski has called for a New York Times reporter to be jailed for publishing a partial list of Trump’s tax returns. This was done with an incredibly thick layer of irony because up until Trump’s victory, Lewandowski was being paid a half million dollars a year by CNN to be a contributor to the news network. Now, it seems, he wants to dismantle the press that gave him a job.
“We had one of the top people at The New York Times come to Harvard University and say, ‘I’m willing to go to jail to get a copy of Donald Trump’s taxes so I can publish them.’ Dean Baquet came here and offered to go to jail — you’re telling me, he’s willing to commit a felony on a private citizen to post his taxes, and there isn’t enough scrutiny on the Trump campaign and his business dealings and his taxes?” Lewandowski asked.
“It’s egregious,” Lewandowski continued. “He should be in jail.”
Lewandowski breezed over the point, but it should not be forgotten that the only reason the New York Times had to post a leaked version of Trump’s tax returns is that he is the only candidate in decades to refuse to release his financial information – despite having financial ties to foreign regimes and business interests that would surely be ruled as conflicts of interests.
Trump himself has been ratcheting up his attacks on the press in a way that suggests he will soon start going after freedom of the press with the full power of the White House. Already he’s spent his time avoiding preparing for his new job by lashing out at his favorite target, the New York Times, on Twitter. He’s also threatened to sue them for covering him poorly, a flailing haymaker that the New York Times parried by saying: Bring it on.
Trump and his cronies clearly have no respect for the press or the freedom with which it operates. Instead, it seems to lean more towards the autocratic regimes we despise.
Featured image via Spencer Platt/Getty Images