On Wednesday, NBC News released a report that in a July meeting, Donald Trump said he wanted to increase the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile, by nearly tenfold. The report revealed that Trump’s desire shocked several members of his national security team, as well as Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, which prompted him to reportedly call the celebrity-in-chief a “moron,” an account Tillerson has yet to deny.
However, the report was quickly refuted by Trump in a slew of early morning tweets, as he threatened the network’s FCC licenses in retaliation.
“Fake @NBCNews made up a story that I wanted a “tenfold” increase in our U.S. nuclear arsenal. Pure fiction, made up to demean. NBC = CNN!” he wrote. “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.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Later on in the day, Trump continued his criticism, saying, “It’s frankly disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write and people should want to look into it,” adding that he never discussed the nuclear arsenal.
Nearly twelve hours later, Trump doubled-down on his threat to challenge the FCC licenses of the network’s parent company, which is owned by Comcast. “Network news has become so partisan, distorted and fake that licenses must be challenged and, if appropriate, revoked. Not fair to public.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
According to reports, Trump’s threats are similar to that of President Richard Nixon, back in 1972, when he encouraged his staff to stall the renewal of the Washington Post’s licenses for Florida TV stations. The company’s stock plummeted.
Just one hour after Trump’s initial tweet, Comcast’s stock saw a slight decline, as well.