February 19, 2018

Trump threatens network's license after report he wanted to expand nuclear arsenal

12 October 2017, 12:40 | Rufus Hill

Trump threatens to challenge media's broadcast licenses

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was heard calling Trump a'moron after the July meeting where the president said he wanted the U.S. nuclear stockpile to grow back to Cold War numbers

Trump was responding to a news report that he had said during a meeting at the Pentagon in July that he wanted what amounted to almost a ten-fold increase in the number of USA nuclear weapons. Pure fiction, made up to demean.

As it turns out, Trump's comment on NBC was one more inaccurate tweet.

The tweet threatening to revoke NBC's broadcast license is the latest in an ongoing war Trump has had with the press.

In his tweet earlier in the day Trump raised the possibility of the broadcast licenses of NBC and other networks being challenged. "Bad for country!", he wrote.

News said the president called for the increase after he was shown a chart indicating the stockpile of United States nuclear weapons had slid from a high of 32,000 in the 1960s.

The report comes as Trump is preparing for an 11-day trip to Asia, where he will seek to bolster global support to pressure North Korea to curb its nuclear and ballistic missile weapons testing.

After the briefing, the secretary of state is alleged to have called Trump a "moron", although Rex Tillerson's spokeswoman has denied that allegation. The network first included the comments about nuclear arms in Wednesday's report.

The Trump administration has threatened to prosecute leakers.

"General Mattis put out a statement, or is putting out a statement, saying that was fake news, that it was just mentioned that way", he said.

Since November, Conway has blasted at least three news stories on Twitter as "fake news", including a New York Times article about her tendency to publicly discuss Trump's private thinking. "But if he did that, I guess we'll have to compare IQ tests". Two people familiar with the discussion said the meeting was unproductive to the point that advisers chose to continue the talks the next day at the Pentagon with a smaller group.

Any increase in America's nuclear arsenal would not only break with decades of US nuclear doctrine but also violate worldwide disarmament treaties signed by every president since Ronald Reagan.

Last week the Nobel Peace Prize went to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, which has openly criticized Trump - and Kim - for making radioactive threats.

And President Barack Obama's Department of Justice seized Associated Press phone records in what the wire service called "serious interference with AP's constitutional rights to gather and report the news".

Noting that Trump greatly benefits from a free press, the Reliable Sources host explained that Trump tends to rip "fake news" when the White House is underperforming.

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