Amid the tensions surrounding the Iranian nuclear deal and North Korea’s nuclear missile tests, US officials claim that President Donald Trump wanted to increase his country’s nuclear warhead arsenal. According to the officials, Trump made this remark during a meeting last summer, but they did not view the request as a direct order to increase the military stockpile.
Trump Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News
During a meeting with high-ranking national security officials last summer, US President Donald Trump said that he wanted a tenfold increase his country’s nuclear arsenal, NBC reported today (Wednesday). According to three US 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 the US since the 1960s.
Trump’s advisers, including US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, were surprised by the president’s response. The meeting held in July was described as a long and sometimes tense review of US operations around the globe. Despite Trump’s remarks, the officials stated that the briefing presented the US’s nuclear capabilities as stronger than they were at the peak of production.
Nuclear weapons test Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News
Two officials present added that at several points during the meeting, Trump stated that he also wishes to increase the number of military troops and equipment. “If he were to increase the numbers, the Russians would match him and the Chinese,” explained nuclear expert Joe Cirincione, who is also an MSNBC contributor. “There hasn’t been a military mission that’s required a nuclear weapon in 71 years.”