SAG-AFTRA Moves to Discipline or Expel Trump From Membership Ranks

WILKES-BARRE, PA - AUGUST 2, 2018: President Donald Trump with a serious look as he delivers a speech at a campaign rally held at the Mohegan Sun Arena. (Credit: Shutterstock)

SAG-AFTRA, the union representing actors and broadcasters, has taken a dramatic step toward disciplining President Donald Trump over the riot at the U.S. Capitol and his repeated statements targeting journalists.

In a news release Tuesday, the union said its national board voted overwhelmingly and found probable cause that Trump incited the insurrection, and that he engaged in a four-year misinformation campaign to discredit and threaten the safety of journalists, many of whom are union members.

“Donald Trump attacked the values that this union holds most sacred — democracy, truth, respect for our fellow Americans of all races and faiths, and the sanctity of the free press,” said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris. “There’s a straight line from his wanton disregard for the truth to the attacks on journalists perpetrated by his followers.”

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The SAG-AFTRA board directed its Disciplinary Committee to review the charges against Trump.

“Our most important role as a union is the protection of our members. The unfortunate truth is, this individual’s words and actions over the past four years have presented actual harm to our broadcast journalist members,” said SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White. “The board’s resolution addresses this effort to undermine freedom of the press and reaffirms the principles on which our democratic society rests, and which we must all work to protect and preserve.”

If the Disciplinary Committee upholds the charges, Trump could face a reprimand, censure, fines, suspension or expulsion.

The outgoing U.S. president has denied inciting the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, which was carried out by his supporters.

SAG-AFTRA represents about 160,000 actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, voiceover artists and other media professionals.