To those who heard it, Trump’s inquiries into what federal regulations could be used to bust the likes of Kimmel and SNL was more of a nuisance than a constitutional crisis. “It was more annoying than alarming, to be honest with you,” one of these sources recalled. However, the conversations further showed, in the pettiest of ways, how the 45th U.S. president was keen on turning the country’s top law enforcers into something more akin to his own personally retained law firm...
In early 2019, Trump had to be repeatedly advised that the “equal-time” rules to which he appeared to refer wouldn’t even apply in this situation, given that late-night shows and NBC sketch comedy are clearly staged satire, and thus not bound by the same requirements of other forms of broadcast TV and radio.
The other source, who has a law degree, said that when they briefly discussed this with Trump more than two years ago, they made a point of saying that the Justice Department, in particular, doesn’t handle these matters, anyway. Trump seemed disappointed to hear that there was no actual legal recourse or anything that the FCC or DOJ could do to punish late-night, anti-Trump comedy.
“Can something else be done about it?” Trump replied, according to this source, to which they responded with some version of “I’ll look into it.” (This person says that to this day, they have not, in fact, “looked into it.”)