It seems Donald Trump has nothing better to do with his time than provoke alarm via Twitter. Yesterday the President-elect appeared to call for nuclear rearmament on social media – a move no president has made in decades; later asked for clarification, he said, “Let it be an arms race.”
The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 22, 2016
Trump’s shocking tweet called for the strengthening and expansion of “nuclear capability” in the United States “until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes” because stockpiling nuclear weapons has always worked so well in the past. And then in an MSNBC interview, Trump said, “We will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all.”
No president has called for such nuclear rearmament in decades, according to NBC News. President Obama did want to spend $500 billion modernizing the nuclear triad, but few people want to escalate the amount of America’s nuclear weapons. Experts told NBC News we already have 4,500.
Trump’s rash comments seem to be inspired by his hope that if he blusters enough, other countries will fear him. Trump spokesperson Sean Spicer told NBC News, “He’s going to ensure that other countries get the message that he’s not going to sit back and allow that. And what’s going to happen is they will come to their senses, and we will all be just fine.”
Of course Russian President Vladimir Putin seems to be on board with Trump’s dangerous concept. Before the tweet that day he called for strengthening “the military potential of strategic nuclear forces,” but experts told NBC News Putin expresses similar ideas nearly every week.
Trump seems to incite controversy to distract the media; cancel an important press conference about potential conflicts of interest with his businesses, invite Kanye to Trump Tower to redirect the cameras. So, what is Trump trying to distract us from this time? In the meantime, perhaps he should set down his phone and pick up a history book.