Donald Trump has called for NBC’s broadcasting licence to be revoked after the network ran a story criticising his nuclear policy.
“Donald Trump said he wanted what amounted to a nearly tenfold increase in the US nuclear arsenal during a gathering this past summer of the nation’s highest-ranking national security leaders,” NBC said, citing three unnamed sources who were at the meeting.
It was after that meeting the US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, reportedly called Trump a “moron”.
Trump took to Twitter to call the story “Pure fiction, made up to demean”, before appearing to take aim at NBC and other news networks’ licence to broadcast.
With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 11, 2017
“He repeated his complaint later in the day, when reporters arrived in the Oval Office to cover his meeting with the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau,” the New York Times says.
“It’s frankly disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write and people should look into it,” Trump said.
Trump later walked back his comments, saying he was not calling for limits to be imposed on the media, but instead that “the press should speak more honestly”. However, he returned to the topic later in the day, posting several more messages to Twitter.
“Network news has become so partisan, distorted and fake that licenses must be challenged and, if appropriate, revoked. Not fair to public!”, Trump said.
“Trump’s diatribe marked the latest attack against the press from a president who, according to people close to him, has felt increasingly frustrated over his stalled legislative agenda and political troubles,” the Chicago Tribune says.
Industry experts have said that Trump’s threats are unlikely to lead to any action.
“The NBC network itself does not need a licence to operate, but individual stations do. Licences come from the Federal Communications Commission, an independent government agency whose chairman is a Trump appointee,” the ABC says.