President Donald Trump sent a second tweet Wednesday night about what he deemed the partisan nature of network news, threatening to challenge and revoke their licenses.
“Network news has become so partisan, distorted and fake that licenses must be challenged and, if appropriate, revoked. Not fair to public!” Trump tweeted on Wednesday night. The tweet came after Trump returned to Washington D.C. from Pennsylvania, where he was giving a speech on tax reform — and shortly before he was set to appear in an interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News.
But Trump wouldn’t be able to revoke any licenses from news networks. As the FCC notes on its website, the organization only provides licenses to individual stations; it does not license television or radio networks.
The tweet capped off a day of attacks lodged at the media. Wednesday morning, after NBC News reported that Trump had alarmed members of his administration by requesting a tenfold increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal — which he categorically denied as “pure fiction” and “fake news” — he had tweeted that it may be “appropriate” to challenge network news licenses.
Later on Wednesday, Trump told reporters when asked about the NBC report, “it is frankly disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write and people should look into it.”