President-elect Donald Trump angrily condemned NBC News as “dishonest” in comments over the weekend, insisting the media outlet had “deliberately” misquoted him on his call to dramatically escalate America’s building of nuclear weapons.
It’s unclear exactly where Trump’s complain comes from, as he insisted that his call for the US to “greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capabilities until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes” didn’t include the part about the world coming to its senses, though NBC repeatedly covered the quote in its entirety.
It may, however, reflect the overall coverage of his call for a buildup, including his comments after the fact calling for “an arms race” with Russia, and an eagerness to dial back his own position by emphasizing the ambiguous caveat about the world coming to its senses.
Trump’s calls for increased nuclear weapons have drawn new attention to comments he made way back in 1987 on a “plan” for global disarmament. The plan, such as it was, was for the US and the former Soviet Union to conspire to threaten the rest of the world into giving their entire nuclear arsenals up under threats of lost aid and diplomatic repercussions. Trump added that he believed if the US and the Soviets could cause “riots” in the other nuclear countries they’d eventually agree to submit and disarm.
Trump hasn’t addressed the scheme since, though it would seem to run afoul of his current pledges to give Israel, one of the nuclear-armed states in question, massive increases in aid. It doesn’t seem like trying to cause riots with aid cuts is on the agenda anymore.
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