In remarks to the media on Wednesday, President Donald Trump said at the White House that it is "disgusting the press is able to write whatever it wants to write" when asked about an NBC News report that he seeks to dramatically increase the US nuclear arsenal. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was seated with him at the White House when he made the remarks.

Referring to the NBC report, Trump called it “fake news” while adding that increasing the nuclear arsenal by a factor of 10 is “totally unnecessary.” The president said that he merely wants U.S. weapons programs to be in “tip top shape.” He said, “It is frankly disgusting the press is able to write whatever it wants to write.” Trump said "no" when asked whether he would seek to actually limit what the press writes. 

"The press should speak more honestly," the president said. "I've seen tremendously dishonest press. It's not even a question of distortion. Like the question that was just asked before about 10 times the nuclear capablity. I know the capability we have, believe me, and it is awesome. It is massive. 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, the don't exist. They make up the sources. There are no sources."

In a series of tweets on Wednesday, Trump’s remarks follow a series of tweets in which he suggested pulling NBC’s broadcasting license.

The president's remarks angered the White House press corps and Democrats. For example, Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ) warned: “This threat alone could intimidate the press and lead to skewed and unfair reporting.” Pallone and other Democrats asked FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to publicly condemn the president’s words. “Now, the FCC must show that it is loyal to the law, not the president, and make clear that it rejects this kind of interference,” Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) said in a statement.



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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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