Trump Threatens Licenses of 'Disgusting' News Networks

FCC Commissioner Challenges Trump's 'Fake News' Challenge: 'Not How It Works'

President Donald Trump questioned whether Federal Communications Commission (FCC) licences should be taken from NBC television stations after the network published a story on Wednesday saying he had sought a large increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

The FCC, an independent agency, does not issue licenses to individual networks but to local stations, including those directly owned by broadcasters such as Comcast Corp that owns NBC. "The President has previously asserted that members of the press are America's enemies, and it is obvious he would like to silence any news coverage with which he disagrees". We therefore ask for a hearing as soon as possible with all five FCC commissioners so that they can publicly and under oath commit that they will not threaten broadcasters or their licenses because of the content of their reporting.

President Donald Trump is doubling down on his threat from earlier Wednesday morning to revoke the broadcast licenses of news networks whose content he dislikes.

Less than a month ago, Pai, speaking at a symposium in Washington, said freedom of speech "should unite Americans across the ideological spectrum", and cited "worrying signs" about intolerance driven by partisan views.

Trump himself has attacked the network over the report on Twitter.

Numerous Democrats criticized Trump and urged Pai to denounce Trump's comments. Setting aside the fact that the FCC doesn't license cable channels, these demands are fundamentally at odds with our legal and cultural traditions.

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Mr Trump's tweet came in response to a story written by NBC, which said that Mr Trump had sought to increase America's nuclear arsenal tenfold after taking a look at a briefing slide that showed steady reduction of the United States nuclear arsenal since the 1960s.

"Every day that goes by without comment from the FCC Chairman is a continued threat to the First Amendment", Pallone and Doyle said.

Hours later, Trump intensified his call for network licenses to be challenged and possibly revoked. "Not fair to public!"

In a tweet late on Wednesday, he said: "Network news has become so partisan, distorted and fake that licences must be challenged and, if appropriate, revoked". We all know how everything ended for poor Richard Nixon, and we can only hope that these threats push people even harder to do the same thing to Donald Trump. "Such hatred!" he tweeted.

Neither NBC or ABC released a statement following the tweet, but others in government stepped in to comment on the issue.

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