President Donald Trump met with FCC chairman Ajit Pai Monday afternoon in the Oval Office, according to the White House. The meeting was confirmed afterwards by an FCC spokesperson.
“Chairman Pai had a warm meeting with President Trump this afternoon, in which they reconnected for the first time since Chairman Pai was elevated to head the FCC," said the spokesman. "No proceedings pending at the FCC were discussed.”
It will be a busy week outside of the FCC for the chairman, who in addition to heading to the White House will be on Capitol Hill Wednesday along with the other commissioners for a Senate Commerce Committee oversight hearing.
The President, as a candidate, talked about blocking the AT&T-Time Warner deal, but the FCC's role in that deal will likely be limited to advising the Justice Department since the companies say the deal won't have to be submitted for a public interest review with the FCC.
Pai has been actively targeting some of former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler's signature regulatory moves, including a broadband privacy framework he plans to recraft and an expansion of Lifeline subsidies he has put on hold, arguing the FCC first needs to get a better handle on preventing waste, fraud and abuse.
Pai has pledged to take a weed whacker to unneeded regs, which fits with the President's promise to get rid of "job-killing" regulations.
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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.