Tufts University is postponing a talk by Anthony Scaramucci, who was briefly a spokesman for President Donald Trump, after he threatened to sue a student who wrote an unflattering opinion piece about him in the student newspaper.
An attorney retained by Scaramucci, Samuel Lieberman, sent a letter to the graduate student who wrote the opinion piece and to the editor in chief of the Tufts Daily. The letter explained that Lieberman’s firm had been retained to “pursue claims arising from blatantly false and defamatory statements,” and demanding a retraction of certain statements and an apology. The letter was published by the Boston Globe.
The news sparked an online debate about freedom of speech and freedom of the press on college campuses.
Lieberman did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday. In the letter, he cited a case in which even statements that contained some amount of opinion were found to be defamatory when they claimed a public official had been unethical, and wrote that Scaramucci “has never been charged nor found to have committed any ethical violation. . .”
A spokesman for Tufts, Patrick Collins, said in a written statement Monday that the Boston-area school is disappointed by Scaramucci’s action.
(c) 2017, The Washington Post · Susan Svrluga