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Trump's Truth Social post rant is a real threat against the free press

Plus the plaintiffs trying to save lives in Texas. the leaders trying to cool a warming planet and a special morning routine in this week’s 3 Minute Read from Jen Psaki.
"Inside with Jen Psaki"
"Inside with Jen Psaki" airs Sundays at 12 p.m. and Monday nights at 8 p.m. ET. Join me!MSNBC

Trump's war on the free press

Earlier this week, former President Donald Trump took to Truth Social with yet another crazy, unhinged rant. In this latest airing of grievances, referring to himself in the third person, he claimed that MSNBC “is nothing but a 24 hour hit job on Donald J. Trump.”  

Yes. He even included his own middle initial. 

But once you get past that weird little detail, Trump’s words take on a darker meaning. It certainly seems like he is threatening to use the power of the U.S. government to “come down hard” against media organizations he believes are being critical of him. There is “more to come,” he promised.

I am very well acquainted with the sometimes tense relationship that exists between the U.S. government and the free press. Presidents do not always appreciate the ways they are written about.   

As a spokesperson, my job was literally to engage with the press every day. But even when things were combative and reporters were pushing and questioning — when it got a little tense — I knew that was democracy working. That is what a free press is supposed to do. And that freedom doesn’t exist everywhere in the world. Just take a look at Russia or China. 

In other words, Trump’s post was more than a rant — it was also a very real threat to the free press, to transparency and to democracy. And we have to start taking Trump's threats seriously.  

A story you should be following: The Texas women fighting for their rights

The Texas Supreme Court heard arguments this week in a case brought by 20 women and two doctors who are suing the state for denying them lifesaving care.   

Texas law prohibits nearly all abortions, except in medical emergencies, but the plaintiffs argue they were denied care despite dangerous pregnancy complications.  

Lead plaintiff Amanda Zurawski developed sepsis and nearly died after she was denied an abortion at 18 weeks because her doctors said they could still detect a fetal heartbeat.  

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is defending the state’s current laws and arguing that the case should be dismissed.  

The Texas Supreme Court will now decide whether to uphold a lower court ruling that would allow doctors greater discretion when providing an abortion in medical emergencies.  

I’ll be watching closely to see whether Amanda’s case can effectively expand the ability of medical professionals to save the lives of women in Texas. 

Someone you should know: Climate reporter David Gelles

This week, as world leaders gather for a climate summit in Dubai, the United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization confirmed 2023 is set to be the warmest year on record.  

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres called on the leaders to get us out of “deep trouble,” warning: “We are living through climate collapse in real time — and the impact is devastating… Record global heat should send shivers down the spines of world leaders.” 

In 27 years of climate summit meetings, countries have not agreed to stop burning fossil fuels, which is the main driver of climate change according to scientists.   

New York Times reporter David Gelles is on the frontlines of our climate crisis. Follow David on X @dgelles for updates on any efforts to avert climate catastrophe.  

Rep. Dan Kildee’s weekend routine

Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich, recently announced he will retire from Congress at the end of his sixth term. In the first installment of a new series called “The Exit Interview,” I will be sitting down with Congressman Kildee to discuss his proudest public service moments. And I will be sure to ask about what is really going on behind closed doors on Capitol Hill right now. Tune in at 12 p.m. ET on Sunday for our conversation.

What show are you bingeing right now? 

My wife and I just finished watching "Ted Lasso," and we absolutely love it. 

What’s the last book you read? 

"The Roof: The Beatles’ Final Concert," by Ken Mansfield. I am a huge fan of the Beatles. As the title suggests, it tells a unique and fascinating story of one of the band’s final performances together. Mansfield does a great job tracing the events and dynamics that lead up to a momentous event for the world’s most famous band. 

What time do you wake up on the weekends? 

6 a.m. sharp. My body is used to getting up at that time every single day, weekend or not. 

How do you take your coffee? 

With cream, no sugar.