Pai at an open meeting earlier this year. Photo: Robin Groulx / Axios

FCC chairman Ajit Pai offered a measured response Tuesday to President Trump's tweets last week arguing for a challenge to broadcast licenses for NBC stations. Pai, speaking at an event hosted by the right-leaning Mercatus Center, said the Federal Communications Commission would not revoke a license based on content.

"I believe in the First Amendment, the FCC under my leadership will stand for the First Amendment, and under the law the FCC does not have the authority to revoke the license of a broadcast station based on the content of a particular newscast."

The bigger picture: Pai's been under pressure to respond as the nation's top media regulator, appointed by a president who regularly attacks the media.

Go deeper: Why Trump can't revoke the licenses. One reason: NBC the network doesn't have a license from the government.

Go deeper

Updated 21 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 19,193,661 — Total deaths: 716,735 — Total recoveries — 11,611,029Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 4,918,927 — Total deaths: 160,737 — Total recoveries: 1,598,624 — Total tests: 59,652,675Map.
  3. Politics: White House recommends Trump issue executive orders on coronavirus aid.
  4. Education: Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning.
  5. Public health: Surgeon general urges flu shots to prevent "double whammy" with coronavirus — Massachusetts pauses reopening after uptick in coronavirus cases
  6. World: Africa records over 1 million coronavirus cases — Gates Foundation puts $150 million behind coronavirus vaccine production.

Trump: "We are going a different way" on coronavirus aid

President Trump. Photo: Jim Watsonn/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Friday that his administration is "going a different way" with coronavirus aid after negotiations with congressional Democrats stalled again, suggesting he will use an executive order to address stimulus spending.

What he's saying: "Pelosi and Schumer only interested in Bailout Money for poorly run Democrat cities and states. Nothing to do with China Virus! Want one trillion dollars. No interest. We are going a different way!" Trump tweeted.

Trump's swift, sweeping China offensive

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump's rhetoric on China has tended to run hotter than his actions — until now.

Why it matters: Even at the height of Trump's trade war, his administration never hit China as hard, as fast, and on as many fronts as it is right now.