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Thu Mar 9, 2017, 11:46 AM

'Do You Agree that the Media is an 'Enemy of the American People?' Pai Refuses to answer

Press release from the office of Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)
WASHINGTON Today, during a hearing of the Senate Commerce Committee, U.S. Senator Tom Udall questioned Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai about how he intends to lead the FCC given President Trump's attacks on the free press, including specific media organizations that are subject to FCC regulation.

"President Trump is using bully tactics to try to intimidate the media. He has even declared certain media outlets 'the enemy of the American people.' His press secretary, Sean Spicer, took the unusual step of barring some journalists from attending his daily press briefing." Udall said during the hearing. "Chairman Pai, many news organizations or their parent companies have business dealings with the FCC, from regulatory matters to potential merger reviews...Do you agree with President Trump that the media is 'the enemy of the American people?' ... Will the FCC operate independently of the White House?... Will you resist any attempt by the White House to use the FCC to intimidate news organizations?"

Saying that he did not "want to wade into the larger political debates," Pai declined to answer whether he agrees with Trump's tweet calling the media the enemy. And Pai went on to decline to disclose whether he discussed any specific media organizations with President Trump during two recent meetings. "I can't comment on the conversations I've had with the president," Pai said.


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