The Trump administration is looking to shut up the press, threatening a lawsuit against several of its own reporters if they don’t toe the administration line.
The administration has a history of intimidating journalists, threatening to subpoena reporters for information and even suing outlets who have challenged the president, who is the president of the United States.
The latest development comes after Trump signed an executive order last week that would force outlets like CNN, Politico, The New York Times and The Associated Press to remove their names from federal register of lobbyists and political action committees.
Trump’s move has also triggered a lawsuit from the Associated Press, which says the move would violate the First Amendment and threaten the publication’s independence.
In response, the White House said the Trump Administration would seek to shut the press up by threatening legal action.
The president and his attorneys say that reporters are protected under the First and Fourth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, and that the administration is attempting to stifle free speech.CNN said it will no longer have any involvement in federal lobbying, while Politico said it has severed ties with all but one of its employees, and will not be working with any Trump-connected organizations in the future.
The AP said it had already severed ties.
“It is simply wrong and unconstitutional to silence the press by attempting to shut it down or silence the news organizations who publish it, particularly when they report the news that is accurate,” the AP said in a statement.
“The First Amendment provides the same protection to all Americans to publish what they believe is true, and we will continue to fight for that principle,” it added.
The Associated Press said it was already preparing legal action against the Trump White House, which is asking a judge to order it to stop publishing its names from the Federal Register of Lobbyists and Political Action Committees.
The administration is also threatening to sue the AP.
“Our First Amendment right to publish news is protected by the First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments,” AP president and chief legal officer Evan Perez said in an email to The Washington Post.
“If we do not comply with this order, it would be against our editorial independence and the values that AP stands for.
This action is in violation of our First Amendment rights, and our staff and AP journalists will fight it tooth and nail to defend them.”
The Associated Media and Politico did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The White House did not respond to The Post’s request for comments.