Former President Donald Trump threatened journalists with prison rape Saturday, suggesting the federal government use violence as a way to combat leaks to the media from journalists.
“You take the writer and/or the publisher of the paper … and you say ‘Who is the leaker? National security,’” Trump explained to audiences during a rally in Robstown, Texas. “And they say ‘We’re not gonna tell you.’ They say ‘That’s OK, you’re going to jail.’ And when this person realizes he’s going to be the bride of another prisoner very shortly, he will say ‘I’d very much like to tell you exactly who that leaker is!'”
Watch the video above.
Trump’s diatribe began in response to the leak of the Supreme Court majority opinion draft leading to Roe v. Wade’s reversal, which Politico obtained in May 2022.
“They leak all over the place, even on the Supreme Court,” the former President said while complaining about reporters who leak information to the media. “You have to find the leaker,” he continued, mentioning that “They don’t want to mention this because I think it’s so terrible.”
While the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24, 2022, the public knew of the decision due to the leaked draft, which made history as “no draft decision in the modern history of the court has been disclosed publicly while a case was still pending,” according to Politico.
The publication said it “received a copy of the draft opinion from a person familiar with the court’s proceedings in the Mississippi case along with other details supporting the authenticity of the document.”
“The idea behind reporter’s privilege is that journalists have a limited First Amendment right not to be forced to reveal information or confidential news sources in court,” according to The First Amendment Encyclopedia. “Journalists rely on confidential sources to write stories that deal with matters of legitimate public importance. Many reporters believe that the First Amendment provides them protection from testifying before a grand jury regarding their sources and prize their role as “neutral watchdogs and objective observers.”