Trump brings NBC's 'license' into question after nuclear arsenal report
President Trump again slammed NBC News on Wednesday, this time after a new report alleges Trump wanted a "tenfold increase" to the U.S. nuclear arsenal.
"Fake @NBCNews made up a story that I wanted a "tenfold" increase in our U.S. nuclear arsenal. Pure fiction, made up to demean," Trump tweeted. "NBC = CNN!"
Trump continued in his social media rant, calling into question the 77-year-old news network's "license."
"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!" Trump said.
The license Trump refers to is that granted by the Federal Communications Commission. According to the FCC, "hoaxes" and "news distortion" are the two areas relative to broadcast news over which the group has regulatory power.
Hoaxes are defined as "the broadcast by a station of false information concerning a crime or catastrophe." A hoax violates FCC rules if:
- the station licensee knew that the information was false,
- broadcasting the false information directly causes substantial public harm, and
- it was foreseeable that broadcasting the false information would cause such harm.
Where news distortion is concerned, the FCC states the following:
"The Commission will investigate a station for news distortion if it receives documented evidence of such rigging or slanting, such as testimony or other documentation, from individuals with direct personal knowledge that a licensee or its management engaged in the intentional falsification of the news."
The FCC notes that evidence showing station management handed down directions to falsify the news, but if that were not presented the Commission would not intervene.
Trump's latest NBC criticism comes after he slammed the outlet for its report which cited three officials who say Tillerson dropped the "moron" bomb after a July 20 meeting at the Pentagon. Trump fired off tweets aimed at NBC News multiple times last week, calling for the outlet to issue an apology and suggesting there was grounds for a Senate Intelligence Committee investigation into the "Fake News Networks."