- Thomson Reuters
President Donald Trump appeared on Friday morning to admit that – despite his crusade against what he characterizes as “fake news” – he really can’t do much about it.
“Network news has become so partisan, distorted and fake that licenses must be challenged and, if appropriate, revoked. Not fair to public!” Trump tweeted on Wednesday in what many considered an open attack on the First Amendment.
But on Friday, Trump retweeted former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, who pointed out that “The President will not be able to impact licenses” of news companies.
“Sadly, they and others are Fake News, and the public is just beginning to figure it out!” Trump commented on his retweet.
Trump also retweeted O’Reilly saying that “A free press is vital to protecting all Americans. A corrupt press damages the Republic.”
Trump has renewed his campaign against the media after an NBC report alleged that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called him a “moron” after a meeting. Trump, Tillerson, and other administration figures reported to have been present at the meeting have refuted the allegation over a dozen times.
As with Trump’s concurrent crusade against NFL players demonstrating during the national anthem, it now seems he seems to use his social capital as president to pressure other popular media figures, rather than his legal power as the country’s chief executive.