Trump Wants Media Who Reported On Russian Hacking Punished Like This

Donald Trump is upset at the intelligence agencies and their continued findings showing that Russia had a role in hacking and propaganda designed to help him win the 2016 presidential election. Trump has expressed a desire to simply move on past this important, unprecedented development, and has consistently cast doubt on the conclusions reached by multiple intelligence agencies, including the CIA and FBI.

His inner circle has already floated the idea of a reorganization at the CIA, which could be seen as a sort of punishment for reaching a conclusion about foreign election interference that is embarrassing for Trump.

Now it appears that he wants to act vindictively towards the other end of the information pipeline, in a dangerous step that could threaten the rights of every American. Trump is now making noise about having Congress go after news outlets who reported on what the agencies said.

President-elect Donald Trump’s call for a congressional investigation into leaks of a national security briefing suggests he’s ready to carry his war with the media into the White House.

The Washington Post and NBC News, citing a briefing on the hacking of Democratic Party officials, reported Thursday that Russian officials celebrated Trump’s election. Later that day, Trump asked on Twitter how NBC got “an exclusive look into the top secret report he (Obama) was presented?” On Friday, he added: “I am asking the chairs of the House and Senate committees to investigate top secret intelligence shared with NBC prior to me seeing it.”

Trump’s rhetoric brings to mind President Nixon, who infamously kept an “enemies list” which included news outlets and personalities who had offended him in some way. He even ordered government wiretaps and surveillance of the journalists he felt were against him, in behavior lacking all respect for the First Amendment guarantee to a free press.

Trump has consistently antagonized the independent press, holding them up as an object of hate and derision at his campaign rallies and egging his rabid supporters on when they have directed threats towards the media. Trump duplicates much of that behavior online, directing pro-Trump online mobs to mobilize against voices that have simply reported on corruption and dirty dealings surrounding the man some have described as their “god emperor.”

Using the power of government to go after speech – not illegal leaking of classified data but most likely information authorized by government officials to be delivered to the press – is a dangerous step, and one Trump seems ready to take to defend his wounded ego.

Featured image via Flickr