President Donald Trump resumed his attacks on media outlets on Wednesday, suggesting NBC News should lose its broadcast licence.
“It is frankly disgusting the press is able to write whatever it wants to write,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.
The president’s comments came after NBC News reported on Wednesday that the president said in July that the US should its nuclear arsenal tenfold, reversing decades of US policy, which has favoured disarmament.
After the meeting, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called Trump a “moron,” according to several people who attended the meeting.
Trump repeatedly insisted on Wednesday that he did not call for an increase, claiming instead that he wanted the current arsenal in “tip top shape.” Defence Secretary James Mattis also denied the report.
The president appeared to misunderstand the nature of television licenses, which are granted to individual stations affiliated with national networks, and are rarely removed, much less on on political grounds.
Though Trump has spent much of his candidacy and presidency blasting various media outlets over their coverage of him, in the last week, he’s singled out NBC, saying the network was “worse than CNN” for reporting that Tillerson called Trump a moron, a story confirmed by other outlets.
He has also called for the Senate Intelligence Committee to investigate news outlets that he accuses of publishing “fake news,” though outlets like NBC News and others have stood by the veracity of their reporting.
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