FCC Commissioner Responds to Trump's Demand For NBC's License to Be Revoked.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Tuesday defended the First Amendment and said his agency can't revoke the license of a broadcaster based on its content, six days after President Donald Trump threatened to pull the licenses of TV networks he dislikes.
"I believe in the First Amendment," Pai said at a telecom law event in Washington, without mentioning Trump by name. "The FCC under my leadership will stand for the First Amendment, and under the law the FCC does not have the authority to revoke a license of a broadcast station based on content of a particular newscast."
Trump last week lashed out at an NBC News report that he had sought a tenfold increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal, calling it "pure fiction" and suggesting broadcasters' licenses should be challenged when they put out "fake news."
The FCC oversees licenses for individual TV stations, not networks like NBC, and telecom experts have said it's highly unlikely the agency would follow through on Trump's threat. But Democrats have kept up pressure on Pai to defend the First Amendment, with FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel warning over the weekend that "history won't be kind to silence."
Trump named Pai as FCC chairman in January.