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Sessions can't promise reporters won't be jailed: No 'action against the media at this point

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During testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that he would not make a "blanket commitment" in not jailing journalists for reporting.

What happened?

During the hearing, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) asked the attorney general if he could pledge to not place "reporters in jail for doing their jobs."

"Well, I don’t know that I can make a blanket commitment to that effect," Sessions answered. "But I will say this: We have not taken any aggressive action against the media at this point."

The U.S. government is dealing with "matters that involve the most serious national security issues that put our country at risk," Sessions said, "and we will utilize the authorities that we have legally and constitutionally if we have to.

"We always try to find an alternative way, as you probably know, Sen. Klobuchar, to directly confronting a media person. But that’s not a total, blanket protection," Sessions said.

What prompted Klobuchar to even ask that question?

Klobuchar said that her motivation behind the question stemmed from criticisms President Donald Trump made last week about an NBC report, in which he hinted that he would consider having the government "challenge" the licenses of NBC and other networks because of what he said was "fake news."

"With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!" Trump tweeted last Wednesday.

The Federal Communications Commission doesn't license TV networks.

Trump continued his tirade against the networks the following day and expressed interested in revoking certain networks' licenses.

"Network news has become so partisan, distorted and fake that licenses must be challenged and, if appropriate, revoked. Not fair to public!" Trump tweeted last Thursday.

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