On Wednesday, Trump released another Twitter broadside against his opponents in establishment media, declaring that it is, “disgusting the press is able to write whatever it wants to write.”
Later, Trump doubled down, after seeming to threaten to pull NBC’s broadcast license over his opinion of their failure to engage in honest journalism.
He further went on questioning the senate on why the Senate Intelligence Committee was not investigating these mainstream news outlets for pushing “fake news,” and again alluded to his desire to strengthen libel laws.
The story from NBC that triggered President Trump’s response was a story claiming that the US nuclear arsenal was expanding by 10X under his administration. The story went on to detail that this new defense plan shocked the top military officials within the administration. They allegedly had to inform Trump that such a massive increase would be prohibitively costly and violate numerous international disarmament treaties.
Commenting on the story during a joint press conference with Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, Trump fumed, “It is frankly disgusting the press is able to write whatever it wants to write.”
“The press should speak more honestly. I’ve seen a tremendously dishonest press,” he clarified.
NBC’s story heavily suggested that Trump knew little about the U.S. nuclear stockpile and its capability, indicating he was both incapable, and incredibly uninformed.
To this he replied, “I know the capability we have, believe me, and it is awesome. It is massive,” describing the tenfold increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal as a “totally unnecessary” one.
“So when they make up stories like that, that’s just made up, and the generals will tell you that. And then they have sources that don’t exist, they don’t exist. They make up the sources. There are no sources.”
Defense Secretary James Mattis echoed Trump’s claims about the false story, describing NBC’s news as both, “absolutely false” and “irresponsible.”