Trump Threatens NBC’s TV License After Network Publishes Unfavorable Reports

In this Oct. 7, 2017, photo, President Donald Trump speaks to reporters before leaving the White House in Washington for a brief stop at Andrews Air Force Base in Md., on his way to Greensboro, N.C. The Trump adminis... In this Oct. 7, 2017, photo, President Donald Trump speaks to reporters before leaving the White House in Washington for a brief stop at Andrews Air Force Base in Md., on his way to Greensboro, N.C. The Trump administration sent an immigration policy wish-list to Congress that includes overhauling the country's green-card system, hiring 10,000 more immigration officers and building a wall along the southern border. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) MORE LESS
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October 11, 2017 11:18 a.m.

After suggesting last week that American media outlets should be investigated by Congress, President Donald Trump on Wednesday appeared to threaten NBC’s broadcast license over the network’s reporting on tensions between the President and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

As a businessman and candidate, Trump frequently threatened to sue news organizations over unflattering coverage. But his latest threat of using the power of the federal government to go after media companies represents a dramatic escalation in his ongoing war against the press.

An NBC News report about Trump asking for more nuclear weapons — which reportedly is what pushed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to call Trump a “moron” this summer — instigated Trump’s most recent Twitter attacks on the media.

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

He then raised the question of challenging news networks’ licenses saying the “fake news” is “bad for our country!”

The remarks are apparently referencing the Federal Communications Commissions’ (FCC) licensing policies, which allow companies like NBC and CNN to use public airwaves to broadcast their programs.

The FCC does not license the TV or radio networks, but rather individual broadcast stations, according to its online policy manual. It also is not responsible for the material that is put on the air.

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