The 6 Scariest Comments Donald Trump Has Made About Nukes
One of the most effective arguments against a Donald Trump presidency is, to quote Hillary Clinton, “a man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.”
It’s a good argument and a terrifying thought. As Commander in Chief, the president has the unchecked authority to launch nuclear weapons. Nobody should have that sort of power, but Donald Trump makes the scary even scarier. The day of the year when we all want to be terrified seems like the right time to delve into: the 6 scariest things Donald Trump has said about nuclear weapons.
- When asked by Chris Matthews if he would use nuclear weapons as President: “Then why are we making them? Why do we make them?”
Just because you have nukes doesn’t mean you need to use them. In fact, the point of nuclear weapons is to not use them.
It would be one thing if Trump was questioning why we have these weapons in order to start a dialogue on reductions and eventual elimination. But I’ll take a wild guess and say that’s not what he means.
2. “You want to be unpredictable.”
This one requires some millennial (you guys like it when I call us that, right?) explanation for those of us who don’t closely follow global nuclear weapons policy.
You know that feeling in the pit of your stomach when you’re wondering if that f*ckboy is going to text or not, because nothing about him is reliable? That fluttering, will-he-won’t-he-I’m-not-answering-if-he-does-anyway-it’s-too-late feeling?
Donald Trump promises to use that same tactic on global leaders. He is primed and ready for the feared 3am phone call, well known in nuclear weapons lore. On November 9, 1979, U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski was woken at 3 AM by a phone call with a startling message — the Soviets had just launched 250 nuclear weapons at the United States. As Brzezinski prepared to phone President Jimmy Carter to plan a full-scale response, he received a follow up call: It was a false alarm.
If someone else had answered that call, and handled the situation more rashly, nuclear weapons could have been launched before the false alarm was detected. Donald Trump would have no issue with that 3AM call. He, and anyone who has dealt with an unpredictable man like him knows, 3AM is the best time to get on your phone and make some bad decisions.
3. Whatever this was…
TLDR; Trump doesn’t know what the nuclear triad is. Or at least he didn’t know in the first debate. I’m sure after that someone was fired and flashcards were made.
(The triad is the three delivery systems we use to carry nuclear warheads to their target — in our case, land-based missiles, sea-based missiles, and bombers. You’re not running for president, so nobody expects you to know that.)
And can we just discuss this: “I think — I think, for me, nuclear is just the power, the devastation is very important to me.”
Nuclear is just the power, guys, nuclear is just the power.
4. Donald Trump’s response to being asked if he would use nuclear weapons on Europe: “Europe is a big place. I’m not going to take cards off the table.”
- Using nuclear weapons anywhere, on anyone, is unthinkable
- Nuclear weapons cause big devastation — not just the blast, but the radioactive fallout, which can travel hundreds of miles. In terms of nuclear weapons impact: Europe is not that big of a place.
- Stating — on television — that you are open to dropping a nuclear weapon on a continent that would be entirely devastated, and houses many of our allies, is not just morally wrong but terrible foreign policy.
5. “Now, wouldn’t you rather in a certain sense have Japan have nuclear weapons when North Korea has nuclear weapons?”
Translation: Now that there’s been some nuclear proliferation, don’t you kind of want more? The answer is no, nobody wants that — not Democrats, not Republicans, not the United States, not the rest of the world. Every single president since the dawn of the nuclear age has worked to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. To suggest that nuclear proliferation would be anything but destabilizing and dangerous is ill-informed and unprecedented.
6. “The biggest problem we have is nuclear — nuclear proliferation and having some maniac, having some madman go out and get a nuclear weapon. That’s in my opinion … the single biggest problem that our country faces right now.”
Someone get this man a mirror, stat.