Trump Threatens to Challenge NBC’s Broadcast License Over News Report He Calls ‘Pure Fiction’

POTUS upset over report that he hoped to increase U.S. nuclear arsenal 10-fold

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 12: U.S. President Donald Trump holds a news conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in the East Room of the White House April 12, 2017 in Washington, DC. Trump reaffirmed the United States' commitment to the North Atlantic alliance and its "ironclad" pledge to defend NATO allies, even though he repeatedly questioned the relevance of the military organization during the campaign. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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President Donald Trump raised the stakes in his attack on the media on Wednesday, not only decrying a NBC News report about his nuclear ambitions as “pure fiction” but threatening to “challenge their license.”

That’s an apparent reference to the Federal Communications Commission license that allows broadcasters like NBC to use public airwaves to transmit their programming; the government has no control over programming transmitted via cable.

Trump denounced as “fake” an exclusive report on NBC News on Wednesday that Trump had openly asked about the possibility of increasing the U.S. nuclear stockpile by tenfold in a meeting this past summer. “Pure fiction, made up to demean,” Trump wrote.

The remarks surprised those present at the meeting, NBC News reported, and came just around the same time that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson may have called Trump a “moron” — an allegation that the State Department later disputed.

In a bit of déjà vu, that “moron” story was also broken exclusively by NBC News earlier this month, leading to a series of nasty tweets from Trump, dismissing the network as “fake news,” and included the same comparison to CNN.

Trump’s fingers got a workout this morning, with a Twitterstorm that touted the stock market’s growth under his presidency and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s stance on player protests during the national anthem.