Donald Trump’s overtures this week hinting at possible revocation of broadcasters’ licenses have caught the attention of some Capitol Hill lawmakers. As we reported previously, Trump lashed out this week at the media, and at NBC in particular, after becoming angered by an NBC story on his supposed interest in increasing the U.S. nuclear arsenal.
The Hill reports that Reps. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) and Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) today called for all five members of the Federal Communications Commission to testify before Congress to disavow Trump’s comments “publicly and under oath.”
In a joint statement today, the two lawmakers said: “Over the past few days the President has repeatedly attacked news outlets and their FCC licenses. This threat alone may already be chilling free-speech across the country. That is why we and others have called on the FCC Chairman to immediately condemn this intimidation and promise to the American public that he will not follow through on the directions he has received from the President.”
Trump, meanwhile, continued to pressure the media, tweeting Wednesday night: “Network news has become so partisan, distorted and fake that licenses must be challenged and, if appropriate, revoked.”
“On Thursday afternoon, a committee aide told The Hill that the five commissioners had all been invited to testify in an oversight hearing on Oct. 25,” The Hill reports.
Pallone and Doyle, two of the top Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, added in their statement: “Despite our calls, the Chairman has refused to say if he agrees with the President.
“We therefore ask for a hearing as soon as possible with all five FCC Commissioners so that they can publicly and under oath commit that they will not threaten broadcasters or their licenses because of the content of their reporting. Every day that goes by without comment from the FCC Chairman is a continued threat to the First Amendment.”