For the last day, day and a half or so, Donald Trump has been on Twitter threatening media outlets that are critical of his presidency and of him personally. Wednesday morning, after NBC News reported that Trump had alarmed members of his administration by requesting a tenfold increase in the US nuclear arsenal - which he categorically denied as "pure fiction" and "fake news" - he had tweeted that it may be "appropriate" to challenge network news licenses.
Trump's comment was "not only unsafe to the American people's right to access responsible journalism, it represents a clear misunderstanding on his part of how much control the federal government can exercise as it relates to networks and cable channels", Dan Shelley, the executive director of the Radio Television Digital News Association, said in a statement.
President Donald Trump's official portrait from Wikimedia Commons. First and foremost, the First Amendment completely prohibits that.
It is an independent agency in the federal government.
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They can not influence, they can not dictate, so unfortunately for Donald Trump just because somebody says something that he doesn't like, that doesn't give you grounds as president to revoke their license and prohibit them from operating in the United States. NBC essentially creates the content and then local stations air it, no matter what it is.
For Halloween, Trump will be handing out tricks, not treats, dressed as President Richard Nixon, who had tried to thwart the renewal of licenses for Florida TV stations owned by the Washington Post, in 1972.
But Trump's words still have weight, even with no action attached.
During an interview, the President also said that he would have to compare IQ scores with Mr Tillerson if his secretary had actually made the remarks.