Ben Sasse doubts Donald Trump’s commitment to First Amendment after recent anti-media remarks

Thursday, 12 October 2017, 11:34:17 PM. President Trump’s recent comments about potentially revoking broadcasting licenses from network news outlets critical of his administration has prompted a member of his own party to question the commander-in-chief’s commitment to upholding the constitutionally protected right to free speech.

President Trump’s recent comments about potentially revoking broadcasting licenses from network news outlets critical of his administration has prompted a member of his own party to question the commander-in-chief’s commitment to upholding the constitutionally protected right to free speech.

“Mr. President: Words spoken by the President of the United States matter,” Sen. Ben Sasse, Nebraska Republican, said in a statement Wednesday evening. “Are you tonight recanting of the oath you took on January 20th to preserve, protect and defend the First Amendment?”

The senator’s statement was shared on his Twitter account shortly after 10 p.m. Wednesday evening and garnered roughly 16,000 retweets within 12 hours of being posted.

Mr. Trump ignited a firestorm earlier Wednesday for suggesting federal regulators review NBC’s broadcasting license after the network reported earlier that morning that the president wanted to dramatically increase the size of America’s nuclear arsenal.

“Fake @NBCNews made up a story that I wanted a ‘tenfold’ increase in our U.S. nuclear arsenal. Pure fiction, made up to demean. NBC = CNN,” Mr. Trumpresponded Wednesday morning on Twitter.

“With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!” Mr. Trumpsaid in another tweet. “Network news has become so partisan, distorted and fake that licenses must be challenged and, if appropriate, revoked. Not fair to public!” he said in another.

Mr. Trump ultimately moved his tirade from Twitter to the Oval Office, rehashing his comments during a conversation later Wednesday with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, saying: “It’s frankly disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write,.”

Mr. Sasse, meanwhile, was hardly the only person on Capitol Hill put off by the president’s remarks. Sen. Ed Markey, Massachusetts Democrat, wrote Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai on Wednesday asking his agency to “withstand any urges from President Trump to harm the news media and infringe upon the First Amendment.” Sen. Maggie Hassan, New Hampshire Democrat, also implored Mr. Pai to denounce the president’s “unacceptable attack on the free press.”

Neither Mr. Pai nor the FCC immediately commented publicly on the president’s comments or subsequent firestorm, but Jessica Rosenworcel, one of the FCC’s five commissioners, tweeted a reaction to Mr. Trump’s musing about challenging NBC’s broadcating license.

“Not how it works,” Ms. Rosenworcel tweeted Wednesday in response to the president’s comment along with a link to the FCC’s public broadcasting manual. “Freedom of the press is a cornerstone of our democracy. Hope my FCC colleagues can all be on the same page with respect to 1st Amendment,” she said in another tweet.

HIDE COMMENTS

blog comments powered by Disqus

Click to Read More

Click to Hide

Top Stories

In this Sept. 28, 2017, file photo, people affected by Hurricane Maria bathe in water piped in from a mountain creek, in Naranjito, Puerto Rico. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa, File)

Trump warns Puerto Rico that emergency services cannot remain indefinitely

President Donald Trump speaks about tax reform during an event at the Harrisburg International Airport, Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, in Middletown, Pa. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Writer of Trump’s Russia dossier slapped with congressional subpoena

obj.0.content_object.caption

Quiz: US Citizenship Test - Could You Pass?

George Ciccariello-Maher, associate professor of political science at Drexel University, tweeted on Dec. 25, 2016, that he wished for a "white genocide." (MSNBC screenshot)

Drexel professor George Ciccariello-Maher placed on leave after Las Vegas tweets

D.C. officials expect an increase in the number of people seeking permits to carry after deciding last week not to appeal a federal circuit court ruling striking down the "good reason" requirement that severely limited who was able to obtain a concealed-carry permit. (Associated Press/File)

D.C. officials defend gun laws, look to further tighten concealed-carry rules

obj.0.content_object.caption

Quiz: Test Your Civil War Knowledge

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (93) sacks New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) during the second quarter of an NFL football game Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan Ebenhack)

NFL player predicts ‘uproar’ if players ordered to stand for national anthem

First lady Michelle Obama hosted Harvey Weinstein at the White House in 2013 for a workshop for students interested in the film industry. "I want to start by thanking Harvey Weinstein for organizing this amazing day," Mrs. Obama said at the time. "This is possible because of Harvey. He is a wonderful human being, a good friend and just a powerhouse." (Associated Press)

‘Disgusted’ Obamas were star-struck by Hollywood mogul Weinstein’s access, cash

CNN'S Jake Tapper holds up a copy of the U.S. Constitution while admonishing President Trump on Oct. 11, 2017. (Image: CNN screenshot)

Jake Tapper taunts Trump with Constitution prop after ‘Fake @NBCNews’ attack

A U.S. Capitol Police Officer checks a car at a security checkpoint at the U.S. Capitol Building after last week's car chase that ended in a shootout at 1st Street and Constitution Ave. NE in front of the Hart Office Building, Washington, D.C., Monday, October 7, 2013. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

How a ‘baffling’ backdoor D.C. gun ban thwarts concealed-carry permit holders

ap090421032401_primary_image.jpg

Conservatives in Hollywood: Celebrities who lean right

Harvey Weinstein

Weinstein’s sexual harassment scandal tarnishes Hollywood, Democratic Party

In this Sept. 25, 2017, file photo, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones speaks after an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, in Glendale, Ariz. Dallas owner Jerry Jones said the NFL can't leave the impression that it tolerates players disrespecting the flag and that any of his Cowboys making such displays won't play. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

ESPN host compares Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to a slave owner

converted 1911.jpg

21 best guns for home protection

This Feb. 23, 2017, file photo, Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, speaks to the Utah Senate, at the Utah State Capitol, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

Rep. Mia Love slams Michelle Obama’s ‘divisive’ GOP comments: ‘I am not white and I am not a male’

President Donald Trump poses for a portrait in the Oval Office in Washington in this Friday, April 21, 2017, file photo. Trump will mark the end of his first 100 days in office with a flurry of executive orders as he looks to fulfill campaign promises and rack up victories ahead of that milestone. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

In light of Trump’s IQ challenge, who is the smartest president? Researchers have an idea

AP26539704575

Christians in Hollywood

A "bump" stock is displayed next to a disassembled .22-caliber rifle at North Raleigh Guns in Raleigh, North Carolina, Feb. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Allen Breed) ** FILE **

YouTube changes rules for firearms videos in response to Las Vegas massacre

Newsletters

  •  Daily
  •  Weekly
  •  Pruden on Politics
  •  Charles Hurt

Find us on Facebook

Find us on Twitter

All site contents © Copyright 2017 The Washington Times, LLC|3600 New York Avenue NE | Washington, DC 20002 |202-636-3000
...Read more
Share this

You might also like

Similar