According to a new report from NBC News, President Trump responded to a slide at a cabinet meeting showing that the number of US nuclear weapons has gone down since the late 1960s by demanding a nearly ten-fold increase in the US arsenal.
This NBC report quoted unnamed officials present at the meeting, who said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had to explain to Trump why both legally and practically such a massive expansion of the arsenal was not practical. It was also reported that immediately following this meeting Tillerson declared Trump to be a “moron.”
But as with the “moron” thing, which Trump denied happened but also later challenged Tillerson to an IQ test over, Trump insists that this too didn’t happen, and accused NBC of making it entirely up for no reason.
Secretary of Defense James Mattis also said the report was “false,” and claimed it was irresponsible for NBC to even report that the meeting happened. There has been no independent confirmation yet.
But President Trump has swung wildly around on the issue of nuclear weapons since elected. Even before inauguration he was sparring with NBC News on a report he wanted to start a global arms race until the world “comes to its senses.” Then in February he was widely reported as wanting to build up the nuclear arsenal because he believed America had “fallen behind.”