Skip to content

Schatz: Trump’s Threats Against The Free Press Can’t Be Ignored, FCC Must Show Loyalty To The Law

Schatz Questioned FCC Chairman About White House Interference During Confirmation Hearing

HONOLULU – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), Ranking Member of the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, released the following statement after President Trump threatened to challenge NBC’s broadcast license.

“The president’s threat against NBC and other media outlets is far from empty. In 1974, President Nixon and his top aides discussed using the FCC’s license renewal process to punish the Washington Post for its Watergate coverage. Today, Donald Trump has threatened to do the same to NBC. In confirmation hearings for Ajit Pai, we raised this possibility. Now, the FCC must show that it is loyal to the law, not the president, and make clear that it rejects this kind of interference.”

During Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai’s confirmation hearing in July, Senator Schatz raised the possibility of the White House interfering with the FCC’s affairs and questioned Chairman Pai about any inappropriate contact the FCC may have had with the White House.