Fact Check

Did Trump Say Americans Had 'No Right' To Protest Against Him?

A hyperpartisan web site misquoted a legal motion filed by President Trump's lawyers.

Published May 9, 2017

 (Chad Zuber / Shutterstock.com)
Image Via Chad Zuber / Shutterstock.com
President Trump said that Americans had no right to protest against him.
What's True

Lawyers representing Donald Trump argued in a court filing that protesters had "no right" to protest "as part of the campaign rally of the political candidates they oppose."

What's False

Trump did not say that Americans had no right whatsoever to protest against him.

On 22 April 2017, the web site Learn Progress published an article under the misleading and sensationalized title "Trump Says Americans Have "No Right" to Protest Him. TYRANNY":

In one of his most alarming moves yet, Donald Trump just had his lawyer file a motion claiming the American people have “no right” to protest President Orange. This is a DIRECT affront to our 1st Amendment rights and Trump’s boldest tyrannical power play yet.

Although Trump has called protests against him "unfair" and has alleged without evidence that protesters were paid, he has not said that the American people have no right to protest against him.

Three protesters filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump after they were ejected from a campaign rally in March 2016, arguing that Trump had incited violence against them. Lawyers representing Trump argued in a court filing that the President had acted legally as the protesters had "no right" to express a dissenting view at his rallies since it violated Trump's right to "choose the content of his own message."

Here's the text in question:

Of course, protestors have their own First Amendment right to express dissenting views, but they have no right to do so as part of the campaign rally of the political candidates they oppose. Indeed, forcing the “private organizers” of a political rally to accept everyone “who wish[es] to join in with some expressive demonstration of their own” would “violate[] the fundamental rule of protection under the First Amendment, that a speaker has the autonomy to choose the content of his own message.” Id. at 573.

Although Trump's lawyers argued that the protesters had "no right" to protest at his campaign rally, the President did not say that this applied to all Americans protesting against him at other times or locations. 



Samuelsohn, Darren.   "Lawsuit Claiming Trump Incited Violence Advances."     Politico.   2 April 2017.

Vogel, Kenneth.   "Trump Lawyer: ‘No Right’ to Protest at Rallies."     Politico.   20 April 2017.

Learn Progress.   "Trump Says Americans Have 'No Right' to Protest Him. TYRANNY."     22 April 2017.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.

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