Analysis: As Brazil cracks down on fake news, Bolsonaro’s new move is straight out of Trump’s playbook
In the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump’s campaign staff was tasked with producing and publishing thousands of fake news stories designed to discredit his opponent, Hillary Clinton.
After Clinton’s election, Trump was quick to seize on the fact that many of the stories presented in the weeks after the election were unverified and untrue. He launched at least three major lawsuits accusing major news organizations, Facebook and even his own campaign of spreading “fake news.”
One of those lawsuits, by Trump, was eventually thrown out by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which said the claims were “moot” because the election was over. While the court did conclude that the lawsuit was an attempt to censor the press, it did not rule that the press was not being censored. The case was ultimately settled and Trump paid $32 million to the three news organizations that sued him.
But the 2016 elections were far from over for the Donald Trump campaign. Less than two weeks after Clinton was elected president, Trump began his quest to dismantle the Obama administration’s efforts to regulate Wall Street.
On March 22, he tweeted, “Republicans should pass the STRONGEST tax cut and reform in American History, cutting taxes for the vast middle class and reducing tax rates for our companies!” He was in fact referring to his tax bill which was released a few months earlier.
The tweet, and the announcement of a new tax plan, prompted a chorus of calls to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature health care law. In response, Trump went out of his way to attack the law, calling the Affordable Care Act “one of the most anti-business, anti-freedom, one-sided pieces of legislation in the history of our country.”
The response was a clear message to the media, who Trump blamed for the negative coverage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and who he vowed to “do a much better job”