In response to President Trump’s comments at a rally in Montana in which he openly praised Congressman Greg Gianforte for assaulting a reporter, PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel released the statement below: 

“President Trump’s explicit praise for Rep. Greg Gianforte’s criminal assault on a reporter marks a startling new low in terms of the White House’s open hostility toward the press. During a week when the world is riveted in horror at the brutal murder of a journalist by the Saudi government, Trump’s remarks are a chilling reminder that US global leadership on press freedom has collapsed utterly under the President’s watch. In its place is an attitude of contempt, excusing and now even applauding violence toward the press. PEN America has filed suit challenging the President’s threats and retaliatory actions toward the press to affirm the role of First Amendment and demand that our government treat journalists and the media with the protections they deserve, and that our democracy depends upon.”

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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. pen.org

CONTACT: Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Manager: agasparian@pen.org