Path 2

Wednesday, Aug 3 2016

Trump's Nuclear Unpredictability

Aug 03, 2016

Giving Donald Trump the nuclear codes would be tantamount to giving a toddler… well, the nuclear codes.

Today on Morning Joe isn’t the first time we’ve heard about Trump’s thirst for war and destruction:

  • “To me nuclear is just, the power, the devastation is very important to me.” YouTube
  • “Then why are we making [nuclear weapons]? Why do we make them?” YouTube
  • “There’s nobody that understand the horror of nuclear better than me.” YouTube
  • “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 [nuclear weapons].  We need unpredictability.” YouTube
  • “I want to be unpredictable.” YouTube

Trump’s campaign has been a series of escalating temper tantrums that have alienated our military and allies, further proving how unfit he is to be Commander-In-Chief. Trump’s question, “if we have nukes, why can’t we use them?” is no idle wondering — a Trump presidency is a threat to the safety of the United States and the world.


Trump Is Wrong On Nuclear Policy

Top National Security Leaders Feared A Trump Presidency

Former Secretary Of Defense Robert Gates Felt Uncomfortable With Trump Getting Access To Nuclear Launch Codes

Robert Gates, When Asked If He Felt Comfortable With Trump’s Finger On The Button, Responded “Right Now, No.”
Robert Gates Admitted He Would Not Feel Comfortable If Donald Trump Had The Launch Codes For Nuclear Weapons. According to Yahoo! News, “Robert Gates, the U.S. Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011, said Thursday that he would not be comfortable if Donald Trump had control over the launch codes for nuclear weapons. Gates sounded off on the presumptive Republican presidential candidate during a wide-ranging interview with Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric in New York.” [Yahoo! News, 5/19/16]

Robert Gates When Asked If He Felt Comfortable With Trump’s “Proverbial Finger On The Nuclear Button,” “Took A Deep Breath Before Answering” And Said “Right Now? No.”  According to Yahoo! News, “‘Would you feel comfortable with his proverbial finger on the nuclear button?’ Couric asked. Gates, who also served as director of the CIA in the early ‘90s, took a deep breath before answering: ‘Right now? No. But the question is does he moderate his views on national security issues going forward? Does he begin to have some more informed views about the complexities of some of these issues, some of the challenges that we face? And who does he choose as his advisors? If all of those things turned out in a positive way, then my concerns would be significantly reduced.’” [Yahoo! News, 5/19/16]

Gates Claimed The Right Temperament Was The Most Important Quality For A President. According to Yahoo! News, “He said the right temperament is perhaps the most important quality for a president. When pressed, he declined to comment on whether Trump or likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton would be a better choice based on this criterion.” [Yahoo! News, 5/19/16]

Leon Panetta: Trump’s Constant Flip-Flopping On Positions WAs “A Dangerous approach”

[Video] Former CIA Director And Secretary Of Defense Leon Panetta On Donald Trump: “I Worry That It’s Sending A Signal To Countries Abroad That A Candidate For President Of The United States Really Doesn’t Know What He Really Wants To Do When It Comes To Protecting Our National Security.”  CNN looks at Donald Trump’s evolving opinions on Libya and Gadhafi. Wolf Blitzer asked Leon Panetta about Donald Trump’s evolving positions. “My biggest concern is that he’s running for president of the United States, and we’re dealing with a very dangerous world. And I frankly don’t know what his positions are when it comes to all of these threats that our country is facing. He takes one position one day and then another position the next day. And I think Secretary Clinton tried to point out that in her speech last week that this is a dangerous approach for someone who wants to be commander in chief of the United States. I worry that it’s sending a signal to countries abroad that a candidate for president of the United States really doesn’t know what he really wants to do when it comes to protecting our national security…” Panetta then talked about the dangers of having a candidate that “shoots from the hip”. [CNN’s Wolf: 6/6/16]

Trump Failed To Answer Question On Nuclear Triad

When Asked Which Leg Of Nuclear Triad He Would Prioritize, Trump Said: “I Think, For Me, Nuclear Is Just The Power, The Devastation Is Very Important To Me.” According to a transcript of the December 16th, 2015 Republican presidential debate produced by TIME Magazine, “HEWITT: Of the three legs of the triad, though, do you have a priority? I want to go to Senator Rubio after that and ask him. TRUMP: I think — I think, for me, nuclear is just the power, the devastation is very important to me.” [TIME Magazine, 12/15/15]

Washington Post’s The Fix: “Trump Clearly Had No Idea What The Nuclear Triad Was.” According to a The Fix post on The Washington Post, “He just couldn’t keep it up for the whole debate. Trump showed his thin skin when, under attack from Jeb, he dismissed the Florida governor with this polling slam: ‘I’m at 42 and you’re at 3.’ Later in the debate, Trump clearly had no idea what the nuclear triad was and, in a transparent attempt to cover his tracks, resorted to his ‘we need to be so strong’ crutch.” [Washington Post – The Fix, 12/15/15]

Rolling Stone On Trump’s Answer To Nuclear Triad Question: “He Doesn’t Understand Even The Most Basic Premise Of A Relatively Simple Question.” According to Rolling Stone, “Donald Trump and I have something in common: When right-wing radio host Hugh Hewitt asked the GOP frontrunner about America’s nuclear triad at Tuesday night’s debate, neither of us had heard that phrase before. […] The problem isn’t simply that Trump doesn’t have detailed plans to make sure our nuclear weapons are safely maintained. The problem is that he doesn’t understand even the most basic premise of a relatively simple question. He couldn’t muster a ‘I’ll make sure we have the most modern, best nuclear arsenal the world has ever seen,’ because he didn’t know what he was being asked.” [Rolling Stone, 12/16/15]

Trump Considered Supporting Japan, South Korea, And Saudi Arabia As Nuclear Powers

Trump Supported Japan, North Korea To Obtain Nuclear Weapons

Trump On Japan And South Korea: “Maybe They Would Be Better Off […] With Nukes.” Interview. Trump:  It’s not like, gee whiz, nobody has them.  So, North Korea has nukes.  Japan has a problem with that.  I mean, they have a big problem with that.  Maybe they would in fact be better off if they defend themselves from North Korea. Wallace: With nukes? Trump:  Maybe they would be better off — including with nukes, yes, including with nukes. Wallace:  In South Korea, with nukes? Trump:  South Korea is right next door, just so you understand. [Fox News Sunday w/ Chris Wallace:160403_MM_83807_A.mp4, 4/3/16]

Trump: “At Some Point We Have To Say, You Know What, We’re Better Off If Japan Protects Itself Against This Maniac In North Korea, We’re Better Off, Frankly, If South Korea Is Going To Start To Protect Itself.” Town Hall. Cooper:  So you have no problem with Japan and South Korea having… Trump:  I thought… Cooper:  … nuclear weapons. Trump:  At some point we have to say, you know what, we’re better off if Japan protects itself against this maniac in North Korea, we’re better off, frankly, if South Korea is going to start to protect itself, we have… [CNN’s Town Hall: 160329_MM_83499_A.mp4, 3/29/16]
Position Lampooned By Arms Control Experts
Dartmouth’s Jennifer Lind On Trump’s Comments Considering Support For Japan, South Korea To Acquire Nuclear Weapons: “With One Blasé Comment, This Entire Foundation Of US Grand Strategy Is Just Blasted Away.” According to Vox, “Of all the outrageous things Donald Trump has said, his proposal to withdraw US military support from Japan and South Korea, and even encourage them to acquire nuclear weapons, might not sound particularly egregious. But this would be a big deal, overturning 70 years of American foreign policy with potentially sweeping implications. ‘This is basically like, ‘Hey, maybe we should think about communism,’’ Jennifer Lind, a professor at Dartmouth who studies East Asia, tells me. ‘With one blasé comment, this entire foundation of US grand strategy is just blasted away.’” [Vox, 3/31/16]

Arms Control Association’s Kingston Reif: “If South Korea And Japan Were To Acquire Their Own Nuclear Deterrents, That Would Send An Incredibly Dangerous Signal To Our Allies In The Middle East.” According to Business Insider, “Kingston Reif, the director for disarmament and threat-reduction policy at the Arms Control Association, made a similar point. ‘If South Korea and Japan were to acquire their own nuclear deterrents, that would send an incredibly dangerous signal to our allies in the Middle East,’ he told Business Insider. ‘It would be incredibly destabilizing development,’ he added.” [Business Insider, 3/30/16]

Arms Control Association’s Kingston Reif: China Would Likely Accelerate Its Nuclear Modernization, Increase Arsenal Size If South Korea And Japan Acquired Nuclear Weapons. According to Business Insider, “China’s ‘doctrine regarding when it might employ nuclear weapons might be described as one of minimum deterrence,’ [Kingston Reif, the director for disarmament and threat-reduction policy at the Arms Control Association] said. ‘China right now is believed to have no more than 300 total nuclear weapons, which is a small arsenal relative to what the US and Russia possess.’ He continued: But in the event that South Korea and Japan acquire independent nuclear weapons, it’s highly likely that China would revisit its minimum deterrence posture and likely accelerate its ongoing nuclear modernization efforts and consider increasing the overall size of its nuclear arsenal.” [Business Insider, 3/30/16]

Trump Said He Would Support Saudi Arabia Development Of Nuclear Weapons

[Video] Trump Said He Would “Absolutely” Allow Saudi Arabia To Develop Nuclear Weapons.  “Anderson Cooper:  So you have no problem with Japan and South Korea having nuclear weapons. Donald Trump:  At some point we have to say, you know what, we’re better off if Japan protects itself against this maniac in North Korea, we’re better off, frankly, if South Korea is going to start to protect itself, we have… Cooper:  Saudi Arabia, nuclear weapons? Trump:  Saudi Arabia, absolutely.”  [CNN Milwaukee Republican Presidential Town Hall, 3/29/16]

Trump Falsely Claimed America’s Nuclear Arsenal “Doesn’t Work.”

[Video] Trump Claimed “Our Nuclear Arsenal Doesn’t Work.”  “Our enemies are getting stronger and stronger by the way, and we as a country are getting weaker.  Even our nuclear arsenal doesn’t work. It came out recently they have equipment that is 30 years old. They don’t know if it worked. … Boy, does that send signals to Putin that they don’t know what they’re doing.” [Donald Trump, Presidential Campaign Announcement, New York, NY 6/16/15; 150616_MM_69617_A]

  • PolitiFact Rated Trump’s Claims About The Nuclear Arsenal “False.”  [PolitiFact, 6/18/15]

Published: Aug 3, 2016

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