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Trump Threatens Broadcaster NBC After Nuclear Report
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”.
Mr Trump tweeted on Wednesday morning: “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!”
Welcoming Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to Washington later in the day, the US president denied the NBC story.
“It is frankly disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write, and people should look into it,” he said at the White House.
When asked if he wanted to increase the country’s arsenal, Mr Trump said he only ever discussed keeping it in “perfect condition”.
“No, I want to have absolutely perfectly maintained – which we are in the process of doing – nuclear force.
“But when they said I want 10 times what we have right now, it’s totally unnecessary, believe me.”
He added: “I want modernisation and I want total rehabilitation. It’s got to be in tip-top shape.”
Defence Secretary Jim Mattis also disputed NBC’s story.
“Recent reports that the President called for an increase in the US nuclear arsenal are absolutely false,” he said in a statement.
“This kind of erroneous reporting is irresponsible.”