It’s funny how quickly someone’s opinion about an individual can change in an instant. Donald Trump most likely regarded Jim Comey as someone he was quite fond of. After all, he as the FBI director was the one who decided to re-open the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails with less than two weeks until the November election, bringing the focus of the media and public back to the issue yet again.
At the time Trump praised him as having a lot of “guts” for being willing to dig further into the issue. Hillary, on the opposite side, blamed the announcement of the investigation being opened again to hurting her in the election. Trump’s switch flipped when Comey decided to use his “guts” to look into whether Trump received help from the Russians as many people have alleged. Comey ended up getting fired with Trump justifying the situation with Russia being a “made-up story.”
Take a step back and look at the history Trump has with Comey. He previously instructed him to stop looking into Michael Flynn, who is Trump’s national security advisor. Remember that he had been caught lying about whether he had contacts in Russia himself.
Media reporting is swarming with this situation with opinion polls, political unrest and uncertainty over where things are going from here. Something else of significant importance is that Trump was noted as saying that Comey should imprison reporters when they published classified information. This is a direct contradiction of freedom of the press. This isn’t a surprising fact with the timeline of how the administration has handled the media since Trump was inaugurated in January.
He pulled the same thing with WikiLeaks when they published the emails Clinton campaign emails, but then was quickly on Trump’s enemy list when information about CIA hacking surfaced. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is currently trying to bring a case against Julian Assange, the founder, for publishing the information claiming it is not protected under the first amendment right to free speech. He didn’t even deny that this could lead to charges being filed against other media outlets.
Don’t be too surprised. He was quoted as calling all journalists “lying, disgusting people” and even questioned about killing them while he was on the campaign trail. His ultimate answer was no, but even the thought is shocking and the White House is really intending on limiting free press for reporting that doesn’t cast it in a positive light even if this is the truth.
The free press isn’t designed to protect the image of the president. It’s is there to inform the people about the good and the bad that is going on, and it isn’t really hard to see that right now things are really bad and the people deserve to know. Transparency is crucial for change to occur, and those that have the power to do so should not be sued or worry about their rights being infringed upon.