President Trump escalated his attacks on the First Amendment on Wednesday, telling reporters that it is “disgusting the press is able to write whatever it wants to write.”
When asked to comment on a report from NBC News that claimed he sought to dramatically expand the U.S. nuclear arsenal, Trump called the report “fake news” and said a ten-fold increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal would be “totally unnecessary” and that he just wants U.S. weapons programs to be in “tip top shape.”
Trump: “It’s frankly disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write and people should look into it.” (via CBS) pic.twitter.com/OB7N2jrvJ3
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 11, 2017
“It is frankly disgusting the press is able to write whatever it wants to write,” Trump said.
Trump’s attacks on the free press follow a series of tweets in which the president suggested pulling NBC’s broadcasting license over the report.
According to the NBC report, Trump was upset by a chart showing that the U.S. has been reducing its nuclear weapons stockpile since the late 1960s.
Top military officials reportedly told him that such a buildup would not only be prohibitively expensive, but it would also violate international disarmament treaties.
The president’s request shocked top military brass and senior administration officials and led Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to call Trump a “moron.”
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 11, 2017
The Hill added:
In recent days Trump has also questioned why the Senate Intelligence Committee is not investigating mainstream news outlets for peddling “fake news.”
The remarks angered the White House press corps. Some conservatives also balked at what appeared to be criticism of the First Amendment.
Look, I’m no fan of NBC, but you can’t have POTUS threatening to take their license away.
That’s just wrong. https://t.co/RHWvx50QLm
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) October 11, 2017
Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democratic member of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), noted that the president does not have the power to pull a broadcasting license.
Not how it works.
— Jessica Rosenworcel (@JRosenworcel) October 11, 2017