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Trump Says Administration Will Examine Strengthening US Libel Laws


FILE - U.S. President Donald Trump holds a Cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington, Jan. 10, 2018.

United States President Donald Trump said Wednesday his administration will take "a strong look" into strengthening the country's libel laws after the release of a book that questions his ability to serve as president.

At the beginning of a White House meeting with Cabinet members at which reporters were present, Trump said U.S. libel laws are "a sham and a disgrace."

"We’re going to take a very very strong look at our country's libel laws so that when somebody says something that is false and defamatory about someone, that person will have meaningful recourse in the courts," he said.

Author Michael Wolff is seen on the set of NBC's "Today" show prior to an interview about his book "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House" in New York City, Jan. 5, 2018.
Author Michael Wolff is seen on the set of NBC's "Today" show prior to an interview about his book "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House" in New York City, Jan. 5, 2018.

Michael Wolff questioned Trump's fitness for the presidency in his tell-all book, "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House," about the inner working of the White House.

Trump previously described the book as a "work of fiction."

Trump's attorney threatened to sue Wolff to prevent the publication of the book, but its release date was moved up in response to overwhelming demand.

Copies of the book "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House" by author Michael Wolff are seen at the Book Culture bookstore in New York, Jan. 5, 2018.
Copies of the book "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House" by author Michael Wolff are seen at the Book Culture bookstore in New York, Jan. 5, 2018.

U.S. law does not empower the president to change the nation's libel laws. In a 1964 Supreme Court decision, the justices unanimously ruled that the First Amendment, which safeguards free speech, protects statements about public figures unless journalists knowingly publish false statements or print things with "reckless disregard of the truth."

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