A judge is recommending that US President Donald Trump mute rather than block some Twitter followers to resolve a First Amendment lawsuit.

Manhattan federal Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald yesterday suggested a settlement as the preferred outcome after listening to lawyers argue whether it's constitutional for Trump to block his critics.

The hearing stemmed from a lawsuit filed in July by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University and seven people rejected by Trump after criticising the Republican president.

The government says Trump's Twitter feed is a personal account and not a public forum requiring him to welcome all voices.

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Buchwald told lawyers they run the risk of establishing new law that they might not like if they resist a settlement. Otherwise, she'll rule soon.

- AP