REPORT: Trump is Kind of Obsessed with the Idea of Using Nuclear Weapons

This will make you feel better, and not at all like moving to Iceland or maybe Madagascar. According to a report from unnamed sources (so take with a grain of salt), the Trump campaign brought in an international affairs advisor to brief Trump on foreign policy and try to brush up his knowledge of world affairs. According to this report from inside the campaign, Trump was basically obsessed with the question of why we couldn’t actually use the nuclear weapons that we have:

Donald Trump asked a foreign policy expert advising him why the U.S. can’t use nuclear weapons, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough said on the air Wednesday, citing an unnamed source who claimed he had spoken with the GOP presidential nominee.

“Several months ago, a foreign policy expert on the international level went to advise Donald Trump. And three times [Trump] asked about the use of nuclear weapons. Three times he asked at one point if we had them why can’t we use them,” Scarborough said on his “Morning Joe” program.

I gather that Scaroborough doesn’t have unfettered access to the campaign anymore, but both he and Morning Mika at one point had, to put it mildly, an uncomfortably close relationship with the Trump campaign, so there’s a pretty good chance Scarborough was talking to a source with actual knowledge here.

Here’s the segment on today’s Morning Joe, which is worth watching in its entirety:

Rough transcript follows.

Scarborough: Um, what concerns you most about Donald Trump.

Michael Hayden (Ex-CIA director under George W. Bush): How erratic he is. Joe, I could argue about this position or that position, I do that with the current President. Uh, but, he’s inconsistent. And when you’re the head of a global superpower.. inconsistency, unpredictability, those are dangerous things. They frighten your friends and they tempt your enemies. And so, I would be very, very concerned.

Harold Fold: General, Harold Ford, very very quickly. Who amongst your peers, who you respect greatly, whether they think like you or not think like you, that you know that’s advising, uh, Mr. Trump.

Hayden: No one.

[Off-screen, maybe Scarborough?]: That’s a good answer.

Scarborough: And, um, I have to follow up with that and I’ll be very careful here. Several months ago a foreign policy expert on an international level went to advise Donald Trump and three times he asked about the use of nuclear weapons. Three times he asked. At one point, if we had them, why can’t we use them? That’s one of the reasons why he doesn’t have foreign policy experts around him.

Mike Barnacle: Trump asked three times…

Scarborough: Three times in an hour briefing, why can’t we use nuclear weapons.

Now here’s more proof that Scarborough might have the right of it. As streiff noted back in March, Trump loves to muse aloud about the use of nuclear weapons. Even in scenarios where any normal person would have alarm bells going off in their head that they were being led down a trap by an obviously hostile member of the media like Chris Matthews, Trump seemed almost gleefully blasé about the concept of using nukes in Europe and also against a friendly country if terrorists operating from that country happened to attack the United States. What I don’t know is whether Trump does this stuff because he thinks it makes him sound tough or because it reflects a real belief on this part that we should be way more ready to use nuclear weapons than we have in the past.

Now look, obviously, we have nuclear weapons for a reason, and I’ve gone on record as saying before that Presidents should not and must not rule out their actual use in certain situations. But I think most reasonable people understand that the actual use of nuclear weapons, especially in a world where nuclear weapons are now so widely proliferated, would be an awful, unthinkable, world-changing (and possibly world-ending) event.

It is not something that a person who has any business being near the nuclear codes should be enthusiastic about, or should be asking repeated questions about “why can’t we actually use them.” Obviously, they can be used. Anyone who’s excited about the prospect must not be allowed in or near the White House.


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