Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Health Care | By Gwendolyn Kim

Donald Trump denies seeking almost tenfold increase in USA nuclear arsenal

Donald Trump denies seeking almost tenfold increase in USA nuclear arsenal

President Donald Trump weighed challenging networks' broadcast licenses Wednesday after NBC News reported that he pushed for a large-scale increase in the US nuclear arsenal earlier this year.

Indeed, Trump's threat seems rather hard to carry out given the Federal Communications Commission does not directly license networks.

The request, which if acted on would violate decades of nuclear disarmament treaties and reverse longstanding U.S. policy, reportedly came shortly before Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called the president a "moron".

This comes on the heels of the president suggesting he might want to challenge the broadcasting licenses of outlets that run stories he doesn't like.

According to the report, Trump asked for "what amounted to a almost tenfold increase" after being presented with a graph that showed a gradual reduction in nuclear weapons since the 1960s.

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As it turns out, Trump's comment on NBC was one more inaccurate tweet. "Pure fiction, made up to demean", Trump tweeted. Instead, licenses are issued to local stations. Comcast, which owns NBC, owns several licenses in major markets such as NY and Los Angeles. These licenses must periodically be renewed.

Neither the White House nor Comcast/NBC Universal responded for comment on Trump's tweet.

On Oct. 7, Trump tweeted: "More and more people are suggesting that Republicans (and me) should be given Equal Time on T.V. when you look at the one-sided coverage?" Officials told Trump that there are legal and practical reasons why the nations' nuclear weapons stockpile could not be increased, NBC sources said, later telling the network's reporting team that no expansion is planned.

US President Donald J. Trump (R) shakes hands with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a meeting in the Oval Office. "Now, the FCC must show that it is loyal to the law, not the president, and make clear that it rejects this kind of interference".

"Any insinuation that elected officials could use the levers of government to control or sensor the news media would represent a startling degradation of the freedom of press", Markey also said in his letter to Pai. Markey also called the president's challenge of a broadcaster's license "inappropriate".

Others took a more pragmatic view of things.

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