Donald Trump’s demand to jail a reporter who broke the story of a leaked Supreme Court draft has been labeled “appalling” by a leading press freedom activist.
The top court has said an eight-month investigation to try to identify who leaked the draft decision to overturn Roe v Wade failed to identify the source of the leak.
The leaked draft and its chilling implications for the country were published by Politico in May.
Shortly after publication, Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed the design’s authenticity and announced an investigation to try to track down the leaker.
Last year, ahead of the midterm elections, Trump told a rally that the only way to find the leaker would be to send them to prison, where they could be subjected to sexual assault.
On Thursday, Trump doubled down on his suggestion, claiming that the reporters should be jailed until they reveal the source, whom he called a “slime.”
“They will never find out, and it is important that they do. So, go to the reporter and ask him/her who it was. If the answer is not given, put the person in jail until the answer is given. You could add the publisher and editor to the list,” he wrote on Truth Social.
He later added, “It won’t be long before the name of this slime is revealed.”
The former president’s comments were condemned by many, including defenders of press freedom.
“Trump’s statement isn’t really surprising given that he’s said similar things during the campaign, but it’s appalling,” Trevor Timms, president of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, told The Independent.
“No president should threaten journalists with prison for revealing their sources.”
More to come….