'President doesn't get to jail journalists': Reporters Committee

Key Points
  • The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has responded to comments made by Trump suggesting journalists be jailed for publishing confidential information.
  • "No president gets to jail journalists," the response says.
  • The Reporters Committee says the remarks should "not intimidate the press but inspire it."
Source: NBC News

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press responded to a report from The New York Times published on Tuesday which suggested Trump made comments that former FBI director James Comey should consider jailing members of the press who published confidential material.

"The comments attributed to President Trump cross a dangerous line. But no president gets to jail journalists. Reporters are protected by judges and juries, by a congress that relies on them to stay informed, and by a Justice Department that for decades has honored the role of a free press by spurning prosecutions of journalists for publishing leaks of classified information," Reporters Committee Executive Director Bruce Brown said in a press release on Tuesday.

"Comments such as these, emerging in the way they did, only remind us that every day public servants are reaching out to reporters to ensure the public is aware of the risks today to rule of law in this country. The president's remarks should not intimidate the press but inspire it," Brown added.

The New York Times' report, which NBC News has confirmed with two separate sources, revealed the contents of a memo written by Comey in which Comey reveals that Trump asked the former FBI director to end an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.