Donald Trump appears to have launched a direct challenge to the American First Amendment by asking if news networks he disagrees with should have their licenses “challenged”.
The President made the dictator-esque suggestion in a tweet in which he claimed organisations running articles he doesn’t like are “bad for the country”.
The tweet was in response to an NBC News article claiming Trump wanted to dramatically increase the country’s nuclear arsenal, citing three officials who were present at a meeting with his national security advisers in July.
It is the same meeting where Secretary of State Rex Tillerson referred to Trump as a “moron”.
Trump’s tweet prompted a wave of protest from people citing the First Amendment which protects against infringement on the freedom of the press.
Others were less succinct.
The claim comes just days after Trump complained that the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election should also look into “Fake News Networks”.
Senator Richard M. Burr, one of the committee’s leaders, said last week it “not going to investigate news organisations” but some media reports my be contradicted by its findings.
White House Press Secretary, Sarah Sanders said at the time: “The President is an incredible advocate of the First Amendment, but with the First Amendment ... with those freedoms also come responsibilities.
“And you have a responsibility to tell the truth, to be accurate.”
This is the same Sarah Sanders who just yesterday tried to convince a room full of journalists that a particular sentence about taxes meant the same as a completely different sentence.
Countries that do censor the media include Iran, North Korea and Syria.