During the July meeting that led to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson calling the president a "moron" - another piece of NBC reporting that the White House has ridiculed - Trump was shown a slide presentation that depicted America's nuclear stockpile diminishing during the past five decades.
The president's words come following an NBC report that Mr. Trump told top DOD officials he wanted what amounted to "a almost tenfold increase in the USA nuclear arsenal".
"We've heard a lot of anti-media attacks from this president but this is one of the worst", Stelter told anchor Brooke Baldwin.
An Associated Press analysis of Trump's relationship with the press in February quoted historian Douglas Brinkley as saying Trump is executing a "holistic jihad" against the news media of a kind that's never been seen.
"It seems to me he's reaching for excuses, reaching for ways to punish the media for stories he doesn't like", he stated.
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"Recent reports that the President called for an increase in the USA nuclear arsenal are absolutely false".
"With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License?"
"At that July 19 meeting, according to senior administration officials, Trump asked military leaders to fire the commander of us forces in Afghanistan and compared their advice to that of a NY restaurant consultant whose poor judgment cost a business valuable time and money", according to NBC's report.
The Executive Director of the First Amendment Coalition, David Snyder, told Newsweek the comment from Trump was something more akin to a statement "the leader of some authoritarian country would make".
They based their story, they said, on conversations with three people who were in the room at the time.
NBC reported that Trump's reaction over the nuclear stockpile came after senior advisers showed him information charting its steady decline in numbers since the 1960s during the meeting at the Pentagon in July.
"(To have) 10 times what we have right now, it's totally unnecessary", Trump said.