After NBC reported that he suggested that his country’s nuclear arsenal be substantially increased, U.S. President Donald Trump denied the report. Trump then called the report “fake news,” a claim that was echoed by U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

U.S. President Donald Trump refuted the NBC News report about him demanding a tenfold increase of the country’s nuclear arsenal this past summer. “I never discussed increasing it,” he stated. “I want it in perfect shape.”

“That was just fake news by NBC,” he continued. “We don’t need an increase. But I want modernization and I want total rehabilitation. It’s got to be in tip-top shape.” Trump then took to Twitter about the report, writing: “Fake @NBCNews made up a story that I wanted a ‘tenfold’ increase in our U.S. nuclear arsenal. Pure fiction, made up to demean. NBC = CNN!”

In a second tweet, Trump wrote: “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!” U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis also called the report “absolutely false.”

“Recent reports that the President called for an increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal are absolutely false. This kind of erroneous reporting is irresponsible,” Mattis said in a statement.

Yesterday, NBC News reported that Trump made the nuclear arsenal increase suggestion during a meeting with high-ranking national security officials. According to three U.S. officials present in the room, Trump’s remarks were made in response to a briefing he was shown detailing the decrease in nuclear weapons production within America since the 1960s.