President Donald Trump said on Monday he has “total respect” for the FCC, but said the agency should reconsider the net neutrality rules that he recently criticized.
Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump said that he had “total” respect for the Federal Communications Commission.
“We’ll see how that goes,” Trump said, adding that he hoped that the FCC would “reconsider” the net-neutrality rules he called “ridiculous.”
“I just want to see how they do it, and then we’ll see if it’s a good thing,” Trump added.
“It’s a tough situation, and I think that the people of this country are going to get it.”
Trump’s comments were at odds with his recent comments that the U.S. should stop using the term “net neutrality” to describe the rules that regulate Internet service providers and other companies that provide Internet access.
“It’s not about me,” Trump told Fox News in an interview that aired Monday night.
“The people that run these companies have got to be allowed to have an open, transparent and free exchange of ideas and information.
And I think the rules should be changed.”
Trump and Pai have been locked in a feud over whether to reclassify ISPs as utilities and allow them to charge more for Internet service.
Pai, who was appointed to lead the FCC by Trump in February, has said that net neutrality is the core of the Internet’s success.
Trump’s criticisms of the FCC have become increasingly vocal in recent weeks, prompting his allies to argue that the president is trying to undermine the agency.
Trump said Monday that he “did not like” the FCC’s new net neutrality rule that he said “would allow for huge corporations to control what you see, what you hear and what you buy.”
“We can’t let that happen anymore, and that’s what I’m saying,” Trump continued.
“You know, we have to get rid of the rules, and if I do, we’ll be able to fix it.
We’ll be so good at fixing it.
And that’s a very, very big if.”
In an interview with Fox News on Monday night, Trump also called out the FCC for not being “serious about protecting the Internet.”
“You have to have a very good FCC.
And they’ve got a really, really bad FCC, they have to be seriously hurt,” Trump stated.
“They’re going to be hurt very badly.”
Trump has previously expressed doubts about the success of net neutrality, saying the rules “have gone a long way to stifle competition, and they have not made it possible for the internet to grow and flourish.”