Trump Questions NBC's TV License Over A News Story

13 October, 2017, 16:12 | Author: Lula Armstrong
  • AM ET Sen. Markey Wants Pai Pledge of No NBC License Action Follows Trump tweet urging FCC challenge of broadcaster

They can not influence, they can not dictate, so unfortunately for Donald Trump just because somebody says something that he doesn't like, that doesn't give you grounds as president to revoke their license and prohibit them from operating in the United States.

In his earlier tweet, the President had asked, albeit rhetorically, when it was appropriate to start challenging news outlets' licenses.

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Trump, a frequent critic of so-called "fake news", has directed his ire at NBC News this week after it reported that Trump suggested dramatically expanding the country's nuclear capabilities - from roughly 4,000 to 32,000 warheads - after seeing data that showed the USA weapons stockpile decreasing from that level since the 1960s. News later followed up with a report that Tillerson called Trump a "moron" following a meeting at which Trump said he wanted to significantly build up the USA nuclear arsenal.

Trump was angered that NBC News reported that in a July meeting he had inquired about increasing the nation's nuclear arsenal tenfold. In confirmation hearings for Ajit Pai, we raised this possibility. After his tweet, several press freedom groups put out their own statement saying "the president should be working to uphold the values of the First Amendment, not tearing them down". Licenses are issued to individual stations, not networks per se. As a result it isn't required to follow orders directly from the White House as would branches of the executive such as the Department of Justice, for instance.

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Mr Trump's comments came just one day after an American reporter was sentenced to prison in a Turkish court, where she was convicted of terrorist propaganda charges.

The National Association of Broadcasters called it "contrary" to the Constitution for the president to suggest NBC's license be taken away. "Please report for duty".

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