First amendment advocates and Democratic lawmakers are pushing back after President Trump went in on a major news organization, and it wasn't CNN this time.
In a series of tweets, the president threatened to revoke NBC's broadcast licenses. It comes after an NBC news report said that Trump wanted a tenfold increase of the country's nuclear arsenal.
The president says,
Fake NBC news made up a story that I wanted a "tenfold" increase in our U.S. Nuclear arsenal. Pure fiction, made up to demean. NBC equals CNN!
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!
Network news has become so partisan, distorted and fake that licenses must be challenged and, if appropriate, revoked. Not fair to public!
He also continued his attacks on media outlets while talking to reporters in the Oval Office.
"...it's frankly, disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write," Trump said. "And people should look into it."
The Federal Communications Commission did not issue a response to the president's threats, but one of its five commissioners took to Twitter, saying that's "not how it works".
She also tweeted,
Freedom of the press is a cornerstone of our democracy. Hope my FCC colleagues can all be on the same page with respect to 1st amendment.
NBC is defending its report.
A producer for the network tweeted,
"NBC News didn't report trump "called for" more nucs. On the contrary, we reported trump said he wanted more but no one took it as an order."
This latest reporting is a follow-up from NBC's report last week that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called the president a "moron" after a cabinet meeting.
NBC says Tillerson made the comment after the president wanted to increase the nuclear capacity.
Other outlets have also independently confirmed this report.