Trump threatens NBC but experts see no real risk to licenses

FILE - This Wednesday, May 10, 2017, file photo, shows the NBC logo at their television studios at Rockefeller Center in New York. On Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, President Donald Trump threatened NBC’s broadcast licenses because he’s not happy with how its news division has covered him. But experts say it’s not likely his threats would lead to any action against the company. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

The Associated Press

As President Donald Trump escalated his war with the media over "fake news" and a call for networks to have their licenses revoked, a Republican senator asked if he was recanting his oath of office.

On Wednesday, Trump took particular issue with an NBC report that he called "pure fiction" that said he had asked Pentagon officials if they could increase nuclear weapons stockpiles "tenfold."

The White House and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis denied the report and Trump threatened to pull NBC's license. That led Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Nebraska, to release a statement asking if Trump was recanting his oath.

"Mr. President: Words spoken by the President of the United States matter," the brief statement reads. "Are you tonight recanting the oath you took on January 20th to preserve, protect, and defend the First Amendment?"

The tweet did not elicit a response from the president.

Sasse's was not the only response. Federal Communications Commmisioner quoted Trump's threat and read simply "not how it works" with a link to the FCC's regulations manual.

She also tweeted later, "Freedom of the press is a cornerstone of our democracy. Hope my FCC colleagues can all be on the same page with respect to 1st Amendment."

Back in 2013, Trump used Twitter to commend the late, disgraced Fox News executive Roger Ailes for supporting Fox employees "against the Obama administration's intimidation of its reporters."


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