Next question comes from @Orion2242, who asks, “I have a question, I am not sure of the legality of this, but can it be possible for a nation, let’s say Zimbabwe or France, or whoever you want, sue the POTUS, or citizen Donald Trump for defamation or any prejudice that his comments or tweets did to that country?” Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses this issue.

Transcript:

Next question comes from @Orion2242, who asks, “I have a question, I am not sure of the legality of this, but can it be possible for a nation, let’s say Zimbabwe or France, or whoever you want, sue the POTUS, or citizen Donald Trump for defamation or any prejudice that his comments or tweets did to that country?”

Now, this is interesting. You’re kind of getting into a little bit of muddy waters here. There are some countries who have much stricter slander and libel laws than we have here in the United States. Our neighbors to the north, Canada, they have insanely strict laws on this kind of thing, and they do it to protect citizens. They put the burden of proof more on the media outlet that makes the claim than they do on the person who’s being defamed.

Typically, here in the United States, it’s supposed to be kind of even. The person who’s being defamed needs to be able to prove that what the media outlet said was a lie. That’s not always the case, but that’s the way it’s been going recently. The court system has put the burden of proof on the defamed, rather than the defamer.

Now, that typically applies to media outlets and things like that. Now, as for Donald Trump, unfortunately, no. There is no legal recourse that any of these countries really have against him, nor is there any that any of them would be willing or want to take. Because to sue the president of the Unites States for saying something stupid, or harsh or mean, that’s not exactly the kind of look that these other countries want to give the rest of the world. It’s something Donald Trump would probably try to do. I mean, don’t get me wrong, this guy, if somebody said something bad about the United States, and he thought he could sue them for it, he 100% would.

I mean, this is a guy who once sued a reporter, because the reporter didn’t call him a billionaire, and instead called him a millionaire. He lost that case, by the way. But yeah, Donald Trump loves to sue anyone and anything for slander or libel any chance he gets, so he would do that, but he is also very petty and vindictive, and he’s got very thin skin.

Other countries, luckily, don’t have that. Right? We’re not looking at a bunch of Donald Trumps running every country in the world, otherwise not only would there be endless bombing of one another, there would be endless lawsuits flying from each other.

Now, that’s just the moral reasoning, is like, yeah, he says stupid stuff about my country, but I’m bigger than that. I’m not going to let it bother me. It’s not really going to effect tourism here. The only place that’s had an effect on tourism is here in the United States. We’ve lost actually billions of dollars from international tourism, because nobody wants to come to the United States right now, because Donald Trump is our president. Now, that’s a story that’s actually been developing over the last 16 months. Global tourism to the United State is falling, and it’s because of Donald Trump according to most respondents.

But there’s also the legality, really. I mean, when Trump says these things, he says them on US soil. So, typically, he would fall under US law. You cannot do that against a US citizen. It gets a little murkier and a little less clearer when it’s a US citizen saying that about a foreign citizen who is not on US soil, they’re on their soil, so they’re protected by their laws, Trump’s protected by our laws. There’s really not much overlap there.

Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at DeSmogBlog.com. He is the co-host / guest host for Ring of Fire Radio. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced