Trump threatens broadcasting licenses after NBC report

President Donald Trump shown in a meeting Tuesday with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger reportedly told his generals in July that he wanted a massive expansion of America's nuclear weapons arsenal

President Donald Trump on Wednesday suggested that he might challenge the licenses of TV networks that are critical of him, pointing to reports that he has categorized as "fake news".

Trump writes on Twitter that with all the "Fake News" coming out of "NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License?" "Bad for country!", he wrote.

Citing "three officials who were in the room", NBC reports Trump indicated during the meeting that he wants to expand America's arsenal of nuclear weapons to about 32,000 - a huge increase from the current stockpile of about 4,000.

He called the report "pure fiction" that was "made up to demean".

Although US presidents have modernised weapon stockpiles over the years, any meaningful addition to the nuclear arsenal would violate treaty agreements.

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.

NBC News reported that top White House aides as well as Cabinet and Pentagon officials were present at the meeting and that several were surprised by the president's apparent lack of understanding of a range of national security and military issues amid a standoff with nuclear-armed North Korea.

"Recent reports that the President called for an increase in the United States nuclear arsenal are absolutely false".

"This kind of erroneous reporting is irresponsible", Mattis said in a written statement.

We contacted Chairman Pai's office and NBC about Trump's tweet today, and we will update this story if we get a response from either of them.

"I think it's fake news", Trump told Forbes.

"The whole point of the First Amendment is to make sure the government can't stop speech before it happened and the government can't censor speech because it disagrees with what that speech says".

On Oct. 5, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump "is an incredible advocate of the First Amendment, but with the First Amendment, with those freedoms also come responsibilities".

The NBC report comes during a time of high tension between the United States and North Korea over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons and missile programs, and just ahead of an expected announcement from Trump on whether to decertify the worldwide deal on Iran's nuclear programme. Trump said his administration would "look at breaking that deal up", but hasn't followed through on the threat.

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