Attacks on the free press, like we’ve never seen before here in the United States, intensified this Wednesday night, as President Trump further posted to social media about his desire to see news network’s operating licenses revoked because they criticize him. Trump argued that revoking their licenses is in the best interest of the public. Sound familiar?
Trump said that the federal government “must” challenge the broadcast licenses of networks that report what he deems “fake news.” “Network news has become so partisan, distorted and fake that licenses must be challenged and, if appropriate, revoked,” Trump posted, “Not fair to public!”
In combination with everything else Trump has said today about his desire to shut down media networks, it is clear that we have a serious problem on our hands. It is serious because Trump seems to be taking a full on challenge of the media’s ability to report seriously too. Experts have yet to weigh in on what kind of options Trump would have, if he really wanted to move forward with going after news network’s licenses. This is unprecedented territory at this point, so Trump’s true power here is still unclear.
Earlier today, the nation looked on with serious concern as Trump attacked NBC News over their report that revealed he wants to dramatically increase the United State’s nuclear arsenal. Trump started this controversy by saying, “at what point is it appropriate to challenge their [NBC] license?”
During his meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the White House, Trump referred to the right of free speech as literally “disgusting” while encouraging that there should be some kind of investigation to look into revoking NBC New’s broadcast license.
Trump was asked by a reporter, “Do you want to increase the nuclear arsenal?” to which Trump replied, “No I never discussed increasing it, I want it in perfect shape, that was just fake news by NBC. Uh, which gives a lot of fake news lately…And it’s frankly disgusting the way the, press is able to write whatever they want to write. And, people should look into it.” You can see Trump’s comments in the clip below.
Trump: I want the United States' nuclear arsenal "in tip-top shape," but an increase is "totally unnecessary" https://t.co/AGZ5gmAMPs
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) October 11, 2017