Trump promises tougher media laws

  • 27/02/2016
Donald Trump (AAP)
Donald Trump (AAP)

Republican US presidential front-runner Donald Trump says that if elected he will "open up" libel laws to make suing the media easier.

Speaking at a rally in Fort Worth, Texas, Trump on Friday said the change was necessary to combat what he described as the "dishonesty" of major American newspapers.

Trump routinely criticises the press during campaign appearances, complaining about coverage he says is unfair and at times singling out people or news outlets for special insults.

He often invites audiences at his rallies to boo the journalists gathered in a special fenced-off part of the room.

At a December 23 appearance in Grand Rapids, Michigan, he joked about killing journalists as the crowd thundered applause.

"One of the things I'm going to do if I win," he said on Friday, "I'm going to open up our libel law so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money."

Trump mentioned the New York Times and the Washington Post specifically and added: "With me they're not protected. We're going to have people sue like you've never been sued before."

The billionaire businessman is leading in national polls and in most statewide polls of likely Republican voters ahead of a dozen primary contests taking place on Tuesday, a day dubbed "Super Tuesday" for its importance to the US presidential primary process.

Trump has sued journalists in the past and his representatives have not infrequently threatened to sue reporters seeking comment.

In January, the Post published a story about Trump's management of the Trump Taj Mahal, a casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, that went bankrupt. In an interview published in the story on January 18, Trump told the Post reporter: "If you write this one, I'm suing you."