Trump said journalists deserve to be executed during a meeting with former Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, according to a former aide

Win McNamee/Getty ImagesU.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis listens as U.S. President Donald Trump answers questions during a meeting with military leaders in the Cabinet Room on October 23, 2018 in Washington, DC.
  • Guy Snodgrass, a former speechwriter for Jim Mattis, said Wednesday that President Donald Trump expressed a belief that reporters should be executed.
  • The remark allegedly came during a meeting at the Pentagon between Trump and Mattis, his former defence secretary.
  • A new book from John Bolton, Trump’s former national security advisor, also claims that Trump privately stated that reporters “should be executed. They are scumbags.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A former speechwriter for former Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis said Wednesday that President Donald Trump expressed the belief that journalists should be killed, backing up a claim made in a new book from John Bolton.

“Can confirm,” Snodgrass wrote on Twitter, quoting the allegation from Trump’s former national security advisor that the president said reporters “should be executed. They are scumbags.”

“This sentiment,” Snodgrass claimed, “[was] expressed again during Trump’s meeting with Mattis in the Pentagon.”

According to The Washington Post, Bolton’s new tell-all book says that Trump made the comments to him during a summer 2019 meeting in New Jersey.

At the time, Trump was angry about his administration being undercut by claims from anonymous White House officials, believing reporters should be jailed to compel them to reveal their sources’ identities.

The Trump administration has reacted angrily to the revelations, with the Department of Justice considering legal action.

“It’s unacceptable. It has not gone through the review process, and that’s where we currently stand,” White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Wednesday.

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