According to MSNBC‘s Joe Scarborough, Donald Trump asked a foreign policy adviser about using nuclear weapons three times during one conversation.
“Several months ago, a foreign policy expert on international level went to advise Donald Trump, and three times he asked about the use of nuclear weapons,” Scarborough said. “Three times he asked, at one point, if we have them, why can’t we use them? That’s one of the reasons he just doesn’t have foreign policy experts around him. Three times, in an hour briefing, why can’t we use nuclear weapons.” Scarborough did not reveal who his source was.
Scarborough was speaking with Retired General and former NSA Director Michael Hayden, who said Donald Trump is “inconsistent” and “dangerous,” according to the Huffington Post. Scarborough also asked Hayden how long it would take for a nuclear launch to occur after Donald Trump made the order.
“It’s scenario dependent, but the system is designed for speed and decisiveness. It’s not designed to debate the decision,” Hayden said.
Two spokespeople for Donald Trump have denied that he ever said he’s interested in using nuclear weapons.
“There is no truth to this,” spokeswoman Hope Hicks told the Hill. “Absolutely not true,” Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort said in an interview with Fox News. “The idea that he’s trying to understand where to use nuclear weapons? It just didn’t happen. I was in the meeting, it didn’t happen.”
That said, Trump has said in the past that he’s not opposed to the idea of using nuclear weapons. He said he would “not rule out” using nuclear weapons.
“I’m never going to rule anything out — I wouldn’t want to say. Even if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t want to tell you that because at a minimum, I want them to think maybe we would use them,” Trump said in an interview with Bloomberg Politics.
After these new comments came out, a former nuclear launch officer explained why the questions Donald Trump allegedly asked are so dangerous. John Noonan, who was a nuclear launch officer for the United States Air Force, wrote multiple tweets about what he thought.
“There are a hell of a lot of bad actors out there who have nukes,” Noonan wrote. “They are restrained only by our ability to instantly lay waste to them… The nuke triad, which Trump doesn’t have a clue about, has been the single greatest contributor to global peace for decades. you heard me… I don’t know if Scarborough is telling the whole truth here. Anonymous sources suck. BUT… if he is… buckle the hell up… Because Trump would be undoing 6 decades of proven deterrence theory. The purpose of nukes is that they are never used. Trump disagrees?”
19. But geopolitics aside, I can't get my mind off the young officers on nuke alert right now. Wondering if they'll soon answer to a madman.
— John Noonan (@noonanjo) August 3, 2016
Noonan also wrote that the “power to kill millions” is a “sobering responsibility,” and he said he could imagine Trump ordering a nuclear launch because a foreign leader said something mean to him on Twitter.
“Simply signaling that you’re open to using strategic weapons as a tactical solution rewrites the rulebook. Russia, China, others will,” Noonan wrote.
After Trump’s statements about not taking using nuclear weapons off the table, he did another interview with MSNBC where he continued to assert that using them is a possibility. He asked why we’re making them if we might not use them.
“Then why are we making them? Why do we make them?” Trump asked.
[Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images]