Trump NBC Attack Follows Criticism Of Time Warner's CNN, Amazon

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It was the same meeting where Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also reportedly called Trump a "moron". "This kind of erroneous reporting is irresponsible", Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said.

The president's words come following an NBC report that Mr. Trump told top DOD officials he wanted what amounted to "a almost tenfold increase in the US nuclear arsenal".

NBC News reported that top White House aides as well as Cabinet and Pentagon officials were present at the meeting and that several were surprised by the president's apparent lack of understanding of a range of national security and military issues amid a standoff with nuclear-armed North Korea. That was the same meeting after which Tillerson allegedly called the president a "moron", something both Trump and the State Department denied him ever saying. Earlier in the day, Trump on Twitter dismissed that report as "pure fiction" and raised the possibility that he would support stripping the broadcast licenses of news networks that report what he believes to be inaccurate information. He's just shouting that it isn't true, from the bully pulpit of the White House, and suggesting that NBC should be silenced. "But if he did that, I guess we'll have to compare IQ tests". "It's frankly disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write and someone should look into it".

Trump's reported interest in massively increasing America's nuclear arsenal also drew widespread criticism, despite his denials.

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The threat provoked widespread anger on social media and elsewhere with many attacking the president for directly challenging the First Amendment, which guarantees the freedom of the press.

According to the report, Trump asked for "what amounted to a almost tenfold increase" after being presented with a graph that showed a gradual reduction in nuclear weapons since the 1960s. Comcast, which owns NBC, owns several licenses in major markets such as NY and Los Angeles.

The news comes at a time when Trump is expected within days to declare that Iran is not fulfilling its obligations under a 2015 anti-nuclear-proliferation deal it made with the Obama administration.

"If I walked down this hallway and asked, I don't think I'd find one media person who voted for Trump, and he got 45% of the national vote", Rep. Dave Brat, a conservative Virginia Republican, told TIME in the Capitol Building on Wednesday.