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President Trump calls Republican congressman who pleaded guilty to assaulting a Guardian reporter “my kind of guy.” In statement, Guardian says this marks the first time the president has publically praised a violent act against a journalist in the United States. (Read PEN America President Jennifer Egan on why PEN America’s suit against President Trump for violating the First Amendment is rooted in literary values of discourse here). As the president edges closer to acknowledging Saudi role in killing of Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post reports that conservative Republican congressmen are exchanging articles that falsely depict the missing journalist as allied with terrorist. New study shows that a third of college students say the threat of fraudulent news is making them trust all media less. -Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer

The most pressing threats and notable goings-on in free expression today


“He’s My Guy:” Donald Trump Praises Gianforte for Assault on Guardian Reporter
Trump’s comments mark the first time the president has openly and directly praised a violent act against a journalist on American soil, and come as the White House is under intense pressure over his refusal to condemn Saudi Arabia despite growing evidence that its leader ordered the murder of journalist critic Jamal Khashoggi.

Jennifer Egan: Why PEN America Is Suing Donald Trump
“Founded in England between the Wars, PEN was built on a belief in the power of writers, and literary values, to help solve the world’s problems… Words are powerful—as Trump’s efforts to quash them attest. In keeping with PEN America’s founding mission, we mean to stand together and show our strength.”

If you or someone you know has been targeted, silenced, intimidated, or otherwise restricted in their speech or writings as a result of the climate of threat emanating from the White House, you can share your story confidentially with us.

In Shift on Khashoggi Killing, Trump Edges Closer to Acknowledging a Saudi Role
Trump stopped short of saying the crown prince Mohammed bin Salman was responsible for Jamal Khashoggi’s death, but he acknowledged that allegations that the prince ordered the killing raised hard questions about the American alliance with Saudi Arabia, and had ignited a serious foreign policy crisis.

Conservatives Mount a Whisper Campaign Smearing Khashoggi in Defense of Trump
In recent days a cadre of Trump-allied House Republicans has been exchanging articles from outlets that fuel suspicion of Khashoggi, highlighting his association with the Muslim Brotherhood in his youth, and raising conspiratorial questions about his work decades ago as an embedded reporter covering Osama bin Laden.

Ex-Trump Adviser Jason Miller Sues Will Menaker of ‘Chapo Trap House’ Over Tweet
Jason Miller is suing Will Menaker, co-host of the popular socialist and comedy podcast Chapo Trap House, over a tweet that called him a “rat face baby killer.” Miller and his legal team have added Menaker to a $100 million defamation lawsuit against Gizmodo Media Group and Splinter News reporter Katherine Krueger.

Fake News Is Making College Students Question All News
According to a new media consumption study, almost half of the nearly 6,000 American college students surveyed said they lacked confidence in discerning real from fake news on social media. And 36 percent of them said the threat of misinformation made them trust all media less.


“Irreversible consequences:” Oleg Sentsov in Intensive Care *PEN Case List
Oleg Sentsov has been recently taken to the intensive care unit in Labytnangi hospital, and his 145-day hunger strike has caused irreparable damage to his health, according to his cousin Natalia Kaplan. Oleg Sentsov stopped hungerstriking on October, 6 in fear of being force-fed.

This Google Engineer Was Asked to Create a Censored Version of Google News for China. He Refused.
Google finally confirmed plans to enter the Chinese market with a search engine that would comply with Beijing’s strict censorship rules. Vijay Boyapati was an engineer with Google News, when in 2006, he was tasked with creating a censored version of Google News but refused. A year later, he left the company.

Vietnam Blogger Mother Mushroom Reaches U.S., Vows to Continue Speaking Up
Blogger and activist Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, known as Mother Mushroom, arrived to a large crowd of supporters in Houston, and vowed to keep speaking out on human rights in Vietnam. She was released from a 10-year jail sentence for anti-state propaganda on Wednesday.

Jair Bolsonaro Accused of Creating “Criminal network” to Spread Fake News in Brazil Election
Brazil’s far-Right election front-runner was accused of setting up a ‘criminal network’ with big businesses to spread fake news through Whatsapp. Brazilian media reported that Bolsonaro supporters paid for messaging by third-party agencies to spread tens of thousands of attack ads.

DARE is a project of PEN America’s #LouderTogether campaign, bringing you a daily-curated roundup of the most important free expression-related news from the U.S. and abroad. Send your feedback and story suggestions to [email protected]