In his effort to capitalize on this weekend’s New York bombings, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump blamed freedom of speech in general and freedom of the press in particular for the attacks, insisting that he is “totally in favor of freedom of the press” but wants to dramatically curb the ability to print certain things.
Trump claimed “where you buy magazines and they tell you how to make these same bombs” should be illegal, and that the US “should arrest the people that do that.” He didn’t mention the magazine’s name, but speculation is he was referring to al-Qaeda’s online magazine, Inspire, which is not available for sale anywhere.
Trump went on to insist that “websites are the same thing, those people should be arrested,” saying that the US has been using freedom of speech as an excuse not to arrest people for such unacceptable speech. This is not the first time Trump has come out critical of press freedom.
Trump campaigned early on to open up libel laws to allow the press to be more easily sued, and just last month complained that the New York Times made up a story about him to benefit Hillary Clinton, insisting that “it is not freedom of the press when newspapers and others are allowed to say and write whatever they want.”
While Trump’s anti-press comments got the most attention, he also called for the US to dramatically shift policing to allow police to racially profile, citing Israel’s police system as doing “an unbelievable job, as good as you can do” and wanting to copy them, particularly in the anti-Muslim stuff.
He finally complained that bomber Ahmad Khan Rahami would be getting “amazing” medical care in the US with “a fully modern and updated hospital room,” comments which appear to undercut his longstanding complaints that Obamacare is dramatically worsening health care quality in the US.