In one of several angry posts to his TruthSocial account on Sunday, Trump said these media companies “should be investigated for its ‘Country Threatening Treason.’” He also questioned whether they deserve “free” access to U.S. airwaves.
“I say up front, openly, and proudly, that when I WIN the Presidency of the United States, they and others of the LameStream Media will be thoroughly scrutinized for their knowingly dishonest and corrupt coverage of people, things, and events,” he posted. “The Fake News Media should pay a big price for what they have done to our once great Country!”
Trump criticized ABC News in a separate post, calling it “fake” news because it didn’t report on his poll numbers during a weekend news program.
Trump in 2017 similarly suggested challenging the licenses for NBC and other broadcast news networks that he considered to be “fake news” after NBC published an unflattering report about him.
“It is frankly disgusting the press is able to write whatever it wants to write,” he said a the time.
The First Amendment protects free speech and press.
The Federal Communications Commission only licenses individual stations, not networks like NBC. But local community members and competitors can dispute license renewals for network-affiliated stations.
Back in July, an advocacy group requested that the FCC deny a license renewal for Philadelphia station WTXF-TV because of its coverage of the 2020 presidential election.
The Media and Democracy Project accused the Fox station of airing “false information about election fraud” and other information that contributed “to harmful and dangerous acts on January 6” at the U.S. Capitol.
In a rare move last month, the FCC said that it would invite public comment on the matter while reviewing the advocacy group’s request.
Trump, meanwhile, faces multiple criminal cases related to his efforts to overturn the 2020 election’s outcome.