Biden says at fundraiser if Trump wins, reporters fearing jail plan to flee the US

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President Joe Biden told donors at a fundraiser on Thursday that he heard from journalists who were planning to flee the US if Donald Trump was reelected because they feared being jailed.

Biden acknowledged former network news anchor Katie Couric, who was attending the event in California as a guest, and warned about the possibility of a Trump victory in an expected rematch this November.

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“Katie, there’s two of your former colleagues — not at the same network — that have told me personally, that if he wins they’re go-ing to have to leave the country because he’s threatened to put them in jail,” Biden said.

Couric previously worked at CNN, NBC News, CBS News, and Yahoo News, but in 2017 founded Katie Couric Media, a company that creates content for corporate partners and publishes newslet-ters. Biden did not elaborate further on which journalists he meant.

Trump, the frontrunner for the GOP nomination, has long claimed that many mainstream media outlets are biased against him and other Republicans, accusing them of coverage that casts conservative ideas and politicians unfavorably in favor of Democrats.

“Just another example of journalists who have over-inflated egos making themselves the center of attention because they have hyperactive imaginations,” Steven Cheung, a spokesman for the Trump campaign, said in response to Biden’s remarks.

Trump previously suggested Politico journalists who reported a draft Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade should be imprisoned if they did not reveal their sources to investigators examining the leak.

“You say ‘Who is the leaker? National security,’” Trump told attendees at an October 2022 rally in Texas. “And they say ‘We’re not going to tell you.’ They say ‘That’s O.K., 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!’”

The White House subsequently condemned Trump’s remarks as an “egregious abuse of power.”

“The freedom of the press is part of the bedrock of American democracy,” White House spokesman Andrew Bates said. “Calling for egregious abuses of power in order to suppress the Constitutional rights of reporters is an insult to the rule of law and undermines fundamental American values and traditions.”

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