CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Thursday hammered White House Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short over Donald Trump’s claim he may “revoke" the licenses of news organizations, suggesting that if the president supports the First Amendment, “he should fix that statement.”
Blitzer was discussing Trump’s tweet Wednesday, where the president insisted “network news is so partisan, distorted and fake that licenses must be challenged and if appropriate, revoked.” The CNN host noted Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) responded that with his tweet, it appears as the the president is “recanting on the oath” of office.
“I think the president remains committed to the entire Constitution, including the First Amendment,” Short replied. “But I think there is a frustration that feels like, in many cases, there are alleged sources that come up with information that is pushed out.” Short argued Trump is expressing the frustration many Americans feel, adding “there is an enormous bias against this administration” in the news media.
“There could be a lot of bias, but that's part of freedom of the press, right?” Blitzer asked. “You don't go ahead and suspend a news organization's ability to operate by revoking a license if you don't like what they're reporting. you can rebut it, you can fight it, you say what you say.”
“The president’s support of the First Amendment has not waned in any bit,” Short assured Blitzer.
“He should fix that statement then, because is sort of gives ammunition to totalitarians, authoritarians in other countries who can say, ‘Well look, we're eliminating freedom of the press in turkey or other countries. Look at what the president of the United States is doing.”
“I'll take your advice back to him,” Short replied.
“Mention it to him,” Blitzer pressed.
“I will,” Short promised.