Friday, 19 July 2019

Trump threatens broadcaster NBC after nuclear report

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US President Donald Trump has raised the prospect of challenging media licences for NBC News and other news networks after unfavourable reports.

He took aim at NBC, which made him a star on The Apprentice, after it reported he wanted to boost America’s nuclear arsenal almost tenfold.

Mr Trump labelled the report “fake news” and “pure fiction”.

NBC also angered the White House last week when it said the secretary of state had called Mr Trump “a moron”.

The US president tweeted on Wednesday: “Fake @NBCNews made up a story that I wanted a ‘tenfold’ increase in our US nuclear arsenal. Pure fiction, made up to demean. NBC = CNN!”

The US president tweeted on Wednesday: “Fake @NBCNews made up a story that I wanted a ‘tenfold’ increase in our US nuclear arsenal. Pure fiction, made up to demean. NBC = CNN!”

In a follow-up tweet, he said: “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!”

Walter Shaub, who led the US Office of Government Ethics under President Barack Obama, responded on Twitter: “At what point? At the point when we cease to be a democracy.”

The Committee to Protect Journalists also slammed the US president’s tweet, saying that it serves as a poor example for other world leaders.

According to NBC News, Mr Trump told a top-level meeting at the Pentagon in July that he wanted to dramatically boost the American stockpile of atomic missiles.

He reportedly made the request after seeing a downward-sloping curve on a briefing slide charting the gradual decrease in US nuclear weapons since the 1960s.

Attributing its report to three officials in the room, NBC said Mr Trump’s request surprised those present, including the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

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