Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Trump threatens to challenge media's broadcast licenses

Trump threatens to challenge media's broadcast licenses

NBC's story was based on information from three anonymous officials the broadcaster said were in the room at the meeting of US national security leaders.

He called the report "pure fiction" that was "made up to demean".

CNN has until recently been the president's favorite target for accusations of broadcasting 'fake news'. "That was just fake news by NBC, which gives a lot of fake news lately", Trump said when asked about the article during a press conference. At various points, Trump wondered aloud why nukes would be made if they were never to be used, wouldn't rule out nuking Europe, said that his strategy with regards to nuclear weapons is "to be unpredictable".

By saying he wants to modernize the nuclear force, Trump is referring to moving ahead with a plan he inherited from the Obama administration to develop, build and field new submarines armed with nuclear missiles; new nuclear-capable bomber aircraft and a new fleet of land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles.

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During the height of the Cold War, the stockpile of nuclear weapons from Russian Federation and the US was at its peak due to an ongoing arms race.

The Federal Communications Commission, an independent federal agency, does not license broadcast networks, but issues them to individual broadcast stations that are renewed on a staggered basis for eight-year periods.

Comments like the above, and actions such as threatening NBC's broadcast license in reaction to a negative story, have led some journalists and observers to question whether Trump respects the freedom of the press guaranteed in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

"Recent reports that the president called for an increase in the US nuclear arsenal are absolutely false", the Mattis statement said. The Los Angeles Times reported that NBC and other networks don't hold licenses that cover their entire networks.

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Trump said that, in his opinion, the press was making up their anonymous sources.

Shares in media companies fell after Trump's tweet, potentially reflecting concerns the war of words could escalate.

The president's suggestion is unlikely to do much to ease his frustrations. That came just over a month after Trump responded to a North Korean missile test by telling reporters that if the regime of Kim Jong-un issues further threats, the US will retaliate with "fire and fury like the world has never seen".

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