In a bizarre and rambling tweet fired off from the official Twitter account of Donald J. Trump this Sunday, the President of the United States seemed to suggest that journalists reporting the news and comedians acting out skits on Saturday Night Live should be prosecuted for defamation.
“A REAL scandal is the one sided coverage, hour by hour, of networks like NBC & Democrat spin machines like Saturday Night Live,” Trump tweeted on Sunday morning. “It is all nothing less than unfair news coverage and Dem commercials. Should be tested in courts, can’t be legal? Only defame & belittle! Collusion?”
A REAL scandal is the one sided coverage, hour by hour, of networks like NBC & Democrat spin machines like Saturday Night Live. It is all nothing less than unfair news coverage and Dem commercials. Should be tested in courts, can’t be legal? Only defame & belittle! Collusion?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 16, 2018
Trump’s tweet came just hours after SNL aired a sketch that depicted an imaginary world where Trump was never elected president, a parody on the Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life.
This isn’t the first time Trump has railed against the media in this fashion, but it is the first time Trump has suggested that comedians should be targeted by the courts for doing — comedy.
The tweet also came on the heels of a rant that ultimately circled back to the “witch hunt” against him and his administration, where he cited a misleading story from a right-wing news outlet that claimed the DOJ “wiped clean” and “destroyed” texts between former FBI agent Peter Strzok and his girlfriend, lawyer Lisa Page.
A five-month gap in texts eventually recovered from Strzok and Page’s phones was not due to deliberate erasure. Rather, the gap coincided with a technical failure by an automated collection application, according to the OIG report. By the time the investigators examined the phones, they had been restored to their initial factory settings for use by other agents.