(New York, NY) – The Trump campaign’s libel lawsuit against CNN over its coverage of Russian interference is part of the president’s ongoing effort to silence the media. The following statement is attributable to PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel:

“President Trump once threatened to try and change the country’s libel laws. Upon discovering that the Constitution would stand in the way, he has become a law unto himself. First it was The New York Times, then The Washington Post, now CNN. President Trump has brought three libel suits in a matter of two weeks, each targeting news outlets whose coverage he dislikes. Who will be next? MSNBC? Saturday Night Live? His relentless battle to silence critics should put his supporters and enablers to shame.

“At a time when we need the news media to remain strong and independent, the president’s pattern of retaliation against the media industry flies in the face of First Amendment protections for the press. These are frivolous lawsuits, meant to take up oxygen in the public sphere and force defendants to spend money defending themselves. The only bright side is that some of the country’s best First Amendment lawyers have more business than ever, fighting back against the President’s now routine outrages.”

Read about PEN America’s own lawsuit against the president here.


PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.

CONTACT: Stephen Fee, Director of Communications, [email protected], +1 202 309 8892