Donald Trump has always had some very scary authoritarian instincts. Now, said instincts are married to very real power. In the past, he and the merry band of incompetent authoritarians, white nationalists, and pathologically lying sycophants and propagandists have tried to mask what they were really about. However, that mask has come off now, with an appearance on the Sunday shows by Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.
When Priebus was interviewed on ABC’s This Week, he was asked about Trump’s ongoing hostile relationship with the media, and particularly about a tweet that seemed to insinuate that Trump would be attempting to legalize the idea of suing news outlets for stories he doesn’t like. In other words, anything critical of him would be up for litigation if Trump gets his way. Here is the tweet in question:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 30, 2017
Priebus’s response was most alarming. He said:
“I think it’s something we’ve looked at. And how that gets executed or whether that goes anywhere is a different story.”
“So you think the president should be able to sue the New York Times for stories he doesn’t like?”
After rambling on in that uniquely Reince way of his, Priebus said that the media “needs to be more responsible” in their reporting on Trump. When Karl pressed Priebus on whether or not Trump should be able to sue, he ducked, insisting he had already answered the question.
This is authoritarianism in the making, right before our eyes, folks. The first thing autocratic leaders do is kill the press and spread their own propaganda through state-run media. Arguably, Trump already has state-run media at Breitbart, with, Fox News as a willing accomplice. We’re already halfway there, and it only took 100 days for it happen.
Watch this chilling exchange below:
Interviewer: Do you think the president should be able to sue for stories he doesn’t like?
Reince Priebus: It’s something we’ve looked at pic.twitter.com/CYEDS8JCK4
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) April 30, 2017
Featured image via video screen capture