SAD! Trump Wants to Revoke TV Licenses Because He’s Terrified of the News!

Over the past two days, Donald Trump has been tweeting in a furious rage because NBC News and other media outlets accurately reported his desire to increase the country’s nuclear arsenal tenfold.

During an Oval Office meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday, Trump also told reporters that it is “disgusting the press is able to write whatever it wants to write.”

According to The Hill, Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ) said,

This threat alone could intimidate the press and lead to skewed and unfair reporting.

He and other Democrats called on FCC chair Ajit Pai to publicly condemn the president’s suggested action. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) said,

Now, the FCC must show that it is loyal to the law, not the president, and make clear that it rejects this kind of interference.

To be clear, Trump does not have the authority to simply revoke broadcast licenses, especially on the grounds of what the networks air. Broadcast licenses are issued to local television stations by the FCC. The commission does not grant licenses to national networks, like NBC, ABC or CBS.

Still, the president’s suggestion that the government review the licenses of news networks spurred backlash, with some critics accusing Trump of denigrating the First Amendment of the Constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech and the press.

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NB) asked the president on Wednesday night,

Words spoken by the president of the United States matter. Are you tonight recanting of the oath you took on January 20th to preserve, protect, and defend the First Amendment?

As Axios reports, Trump has regularly attacked the press, and his threat here is serious: to try and take a broadcast network off the air because he doesn’t like its recent stories. Richard Nixon famously targeted licenses held by the Washington Post because it was reporting on the Watergate scandal that eventually derailed his presidency.

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