Trump threatens broadcaster NBC over nuclear weapons report

Trump threatens broadcaster NBC over nuclear weapons report

By Keshala Dias

12 Oct, 2017 | 6:02 am

US President Donald Trump has raised the prospect of challenging media licences for NBC News and other news networks after unfavourable reports.

Trump tweeted on Wednesday morning: “With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!”


In a story aired and posted online Wednesday morning, NBC reported that Trump said during a meeting in July that he wanted what amounted to a nearly tenfold increase in the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile, stunning some members of his national security team. It was after this meeting that Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson reportedly said Trump was a “moron.”

Substantively, Trump’s threat is fairly empty: NBC and other networks do not hold a license for the network as a whole. Licenses are issued to local stations, of which NBC owns 28. Under deregulatory measures that Republicans successfully pushed over the past generation, challenging a license on the grounds that coverage is unfair or biased would be extremely difficult.