Trump blasts ‘fake news’ media during a sit-down with Justin Trudeau and his wife for a nuclear arsenal story where NBC said the president wanted to increase the amount of nuclear weapons the U.S. has.
President Donald Trump denied ever calling for a bigger U.S. nuclear arsenal and questioned whether FCC licenses should be taken from NBC television stations after the network published a story on Wednesday saying he had done so in a meeting with military and security officials.
“It’s frankly disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write and people should want to look into it,” Trump told reporters as he met at the White House with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Trump’s denial was backed up by a statement by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. “Recent reports that the President called for an increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal are absolutely false,” Mattis said. “This kind of erroneous reporting is irresponsible.”
NBC said that Trump made his remarks about the arsenal at a meeting with his national security advisers on July 20, and that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called him a “moron” after he left that session.
Trump first issued a denial on Twitter early Wednesday and then raised the prospect of challenging FCC licenses. NBCUniversal, the parent company of the network, is owned by Comcast Corp.
“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!” he wrote in a tweet.
The president doubled-down on the threat Wednesday night, saying on Twitter that “Network news has become so partisan, distorted and fake that licenses must be challenged and, if appropriate, revoked. Not fair to public!”