Trump, speaking hours after he tweeted about challenging the licenses of "NBC and the networks" for producing "fake news", said he was calling for more honesty, not limits on the media, but he later doubled down on his threat to challenge licenses, Bloomberg reports. Television licenses are generally given to local stations, not national networks, so the White House would have to challenge a bunch of NBC affiliates to black out the network. Trump tweeted on Wednesday in what many considered an open attack on the First Amendment. He called for a hearing on the matter.
ABC, owned by Walt Disney Co, declined to comment.
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. And cable news outlets need no license.
The report about Mr Trump's nuclear arsenal said that the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson all pushed back on the nuclear ambitions, and that Mr Tillerson called the President a "moron" following the meeting. But in a recent tweet Trump labeled the news networks as partisan and distorted.
Trump may have been referring to the "Fairness Doctrine" that was created to ensure broadcasters present opposing viewpoints about public issues.
"It is contrary to this fundamental right for any government official to threaten the revocation of an FCC license simply because of a disagreement with the reporting of a journalist", he said in a statement.
It's unclear whether Trump could succeed if he were to go after licenses. The agency's own broadcast guide says "the FCC can not prevent the broadcast of any particular point of view".
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