Pai: President Trump Has Not Contacted Him About Media 'Enemies'

FCC chair Ajit Pai has told a House subcommittee that the President has not, to his knowledge, reached out to him about FCC licenses held by media companies whose news coverage he disagrees with.

Related: Trump Says Many News Media Are 'Crazed Lunatics

That came in a House Communications Subcommittee oversight hearing Wednesday (May 15).

Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-N.M.) pointed to the President's April 5 tweet calling new media "truly the enemy of the people," saying he was concerned about the Presidents ongoing attacks on broadcast and other journalists and the President's public threats--via tweets--to licenses of outlets he has labeled "fake news."

Related: House Looks Into Trump Press Attacks

When asked by Rep. McNerney, Pai and the other commissioners all said they did not share the President's view of journalists. Pai said that was not language he had used or would ever use, while the others said "no" or "absolutely not."

McNerney pointed out that Pai had appeared at a press conference not long after the President's April 5 tweet. Pai said the President had not raised any issues about unfair coverage at that time.

He also reiterated his earlier promise to a Senate committee that if the President did reach out on that issue, he would inform them. 

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.