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 reported the secretary of state had called Mr Trump “a moron”.
The US president tweeted on Wednesday: “Fake @NBCNews made up a story that I wanted a ‘tenfold’ increase in our US nuclear arsenal. Pure fiction, made up to demean. NBC = CNN! 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!”
Walter Shaub, who headed the US Office of Government Ethics under Barack Obama, responded on Twitter: “At what point? At the point when we cease to be a democracy.”
This weekend, the professional sports world was rocked by widespread protests against racism, police brutality and President Trump. On Sunday, members of the majority of all National Football League teams took the knee or locked arms during the national anthem, or even sat out the anthem entirely. Professional baseball players, WNBA players, cheerleaders and national anthem singers also protested on Sunday. The weekend of defiance came after Trump lashed out at players who have joined a growing protest movement started by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick against racial injustice. This is Trump speaking at a campaign rally in Huntsville, Alabama, on Friday evening.
President Donald Trump: “Luther and I and everyone in this arena tonight are unified by the same great American values. We’re proud of our country. We respect our flag. Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He’s fired. He’s fired!’?”
On Capitol Hill, Republican lawmakers are scrambling to save their latest effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, after it looks like they will again fail to secure enough votes to pass the legislation. On Friday, Republican Arizona Senator John McCain announced he will not support the Graham-Cassidy bill. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul also opposes the legislation, and Maine Senator Susan Collins, Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski and Texas Senator Ted Cruz have all indicated they may vote against the bill. Top Republicans have revised the legislation to add additional benefits for Alaska and Maine in efforts to woo Senators Murkowski’s and Collins’s votes.
Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won’t be around much longer!
Ri Yong-ho told reporters in New York that North Korea reserved the right to shoot down US bombers.
This applied even when they were not in North Korean airspace, the minister added. The world “should clearly remember” it was the US that first declared war, Mr Ri said.
The two sides have been engaged in an increasingly angry war of words.
Despite weeks of tension, experts have played down the risk of direct conflict between the two.
After Mr Ri addressed the United Nations on Saturday, the US president responded by tweeting that Mr Ri and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “won’t be around much longer” if they continued their rhetoric.
Mr Ri’s response came as he was leaving New York, following the UN General Assembly.
“In light of the declaration of war by Trump, all options will be on the operations table of the supreme leadership of the DPRK [North Korea],” he added.
The Trump administration ordered new sanctions Thursday against North Korea over its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile program, promising to squeeze North Korean industries and cut off the country’s access to the international banking system. The new sanctions come after Trump mocked North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as “Rocket Man”, threatening to “totally destroy” North Korea—a nation of 25 million people.
On Friday, North Korean state television read a statement attributed to Kim in which he called Trump “a frightened dog” and a “gangster fond of playing with fire.”
Ri Chun-hee: “I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard* with fire.”
North Korea also said Kim was considering a plan to explode a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean in response to U.S. provocations.
*DOTARD: NOUN 1. a person, especially an old person, exhibiting a decline in mental faculties; a weak-minded or foolish old person.