White House slams Trump’s threat to investigate NBC for ‘treason’: ‘Selfish, small, and dangerous’

‘To abuse presidential power and violate the Constitutional rights of reporters would be an outrageous attack on our democracy and the rule of law,’ White House spokesperson says

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Monday 25 September 2023 19:33 BST
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The White House responded to Donald Trump’s outburst about launching an investigation into NBC, saying that “Presidents must always defend Americans’ freedoms”.

Mr Trump argued that the parent company of NBC should be investigated for “treason” in a Truth Social rant voicing his increasing frustrations with the news media.

“They are almost all dishonest and corrupt, but Comcast, with its one-side and vicious coverage by NBC NEWS, and in particular MSNBC, often and correctly referred to as MSDNC (Democrat National Committee!), should be investigated for its ‘Country Threatening Treason’,” Mr Trump wrote on Sunday night, referencing his own nickname for the cable news network.

“President Biden swore an oath to uphold our Constitution and protect American Democracy. Freedom of the press is a fundamental Constitutional right. To abuse presidential power and violate the Constitutional rights of reporters would be an outrageous attack on our democracy and the rule of law,” the White House said in a statement. “Presidents must always defend Americans' freedoms – never trample on them for selfish, small, and dangerous political purposes.”

Mr Trump went on to lambast “their endless coverage of the now fully debunked SCAM known as Russia, Russia, Russia, and much else, is one big Campaign Contribution to the Radical Left Democrat Party”.

The former president has long been irked by the investigations into his 2016 campaign links to Russia.

“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,” Mr Trump suggested.

“Why should NBC, or any other of the corrupt & dishonest media companies, be entitled to use the very valuable Airwaves of the USA, FREE? They are a true threat to Democracy and are, in fact, THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE! The Fake News Media should pay a big price for what they have done to our once great Country!”

The Independent has reached out to the White House for comment.

Historian Kevin Kruse wrote on X: “Don’t lose sight of the fact that Trump thinks the press writing critically about him is ‘Country Threatening Treason’. This is insane.”

“Imagine, just imagine, if Joe Biden or Kamala Harris said even 1% of this about Fox ‘News’. Imagine the coverage not just from Fox and the right but from our ‘liberal’ mainstream media, too,” MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan said.

“I’m sure every Trump voter would react calmly if Biden said this about a network...” media reporter Brian Stelter wrote.

Mr Trump called journalists and outlets “fake news” about 2,000 times during his single White House term.

He’s threatened to imprison reporters as well as branding the press “the enemy of the people” hundreds of times.

Mr Trump has also filed lawsuits targeting the First Amendment in a legal fight with The New York Times and CNN.

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