A Potential Second Term for Trump Might Involve Legal Action Against Media, Says Former Administration Official

by Michael Nguyen
Trump media retaliation

A former official from Donald Trump’s administration, Kash Patel, expressed on Tuesday that if Trump were to be re-elected, his government might take legal action against members of the media, either through criminal or civil courts.

Patel, who previously held key positions in the Justice and Defense Departments as well as the National Security Council, made these remarks on Steve Bannon’s podcast. He emphasized that a second Trump administration would actively seek out those they believe conspired in the media regarding the 2020 election, which Trump lost to Joe Biden.

Despite Trump and his supporters consistently asserting that the election was fraudulent, this claim has been refuted by a wide range of authorities, including federal and local officials, various courts, top ex-campaign staff, and even Trump’s own attorney general, who found no substantial evidence of the alleged fraud. Furthermore, Trump has incorporated the promise of “retribution” into his campaign narrative as he pursues another term.

Following Patel’s comments, Trump’s campaign team issued a strong statement dissociating themselves from these assertions.

There has been no response from the campaign regarding inquiries about whether Trump plans to implement the measures Patel described.

Currently, Patel is associated with the Center for Renewing America, a right-wing think tank. This organization is part of a broader conservative network preparing for either a second Trump term or another conservative presidency in line with their ideologies.

In his discussion with Bannon, Patel stated, “We’re going to target media personnel who falsely accused American citizens of assisting Joe Biden in manipulating presidential elections. Whether the approach will be criminal or civil, we’re still deciding. But consider this a warning.”

Trump has a history of antagonizing the media, often referring to them as “Fake News” and “Enemy of the People,” a phrase notoriously associated with Soviet leader Josef Stalin.

In a recent Truth social network post, Trump reiterated these terms and proposed investigating NBC News and MSNBC for “Country Threatening Treason” and limiting their broadcasting access.

Trump declared, “Upon my presidential victory, I openly and proudly commit to scrutinizing the LameStream Media for their deliberately deceitful and corrupt reporting. Why should NBC or any other media outlet exploiting the highly valued American Airwaves do so freely? They represent a direct threat to democracy and are, in fact, the enemy of the people. The deceitful media must face significant consequences for their actions against our once-great Nation.”

During the interview, Bannon hinted that Patel could be a potential CIA director in a new Trump administration.

The Trump campaign has not commented on the possibility of appointing Patel as the CIA director.

Patel was present at the launch of Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign at Mar-a-Lago and attended a speech at Trump’s Bedminster resort following Trump’s court appearance on charges of mishandling classified documents.

This article includes contributions from Jill Colvin, a reporter with Big Big News, based in New York.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Trump media retaliation

What did Kash Patel say about Trump’s potential actions against the media in a second term?

Kash Patel, a former Trump administration official, stated that if Donald Trump is re-elected, his administration might pursue legal action against members of the media, either criminally or civilly, particularly targeting those who allegedly conspired over the 2020 election.

How did the Trump campaign respond to Patel’s comments?

The Trump campaign distanced itself from Patel’s comments, issuing a statement that such proclamations are not representative of their stance. They did not respond to inquiries about whether they are considering the actions Patel described.

What roles did Kash Patel hold in the Trump administration?

Kash Patel previously served in the Trump administration as a member of the Justice Department, chief of staff in the Defense Department, and a role on the National Security Council.

What is the Center for Renewing America?

The Center for Renewing America is a conservative think tank associated with Kash Patel. It is part of a network of conservative groups preparing for a possible second White House term for Trump or a conservative candidate with similar views.

Has Donald Trump commented on the media in the past?

Yes, Donald Trump has a history of targeting the media, often labeling them as “Fake News” and “Enemy of the People.” He has vowed to investigate and scrutinize media outlets like NBC News and MSNBC, accusing them of dishonest coverage.

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SarahK December 6, 2023 - 2:31 am

isn’t it scary to think that the media could be targeted like this? Free speech needs protection, no matter who’s in power!

Dave_84 December 6, 2023 - 4:45 am

Patel’s words are quite alarming, but i guess we shouldnt be surprised given Trump’s past comments about the media… still, it’s a bit much

JennyLee December 6, 2023 - 6:30 pm

The campaign distancing itself from these comments is interesting but they didnt deny it outright, makes you wonder what’s really going on behind the scenes.

MikeJohnson December 6, 2023 - 7:56 pm

wow, this article really shows how tense things are between Trump and the media, can’t believe how far things might go if he gets reelected…


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