— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 11, 2017
Donald Trump made his obsession with America’s nuclear arsenal no secret during the 2016 election. Nor did the president’s drive to increase, and possibly use, these gargantuan weapons of war against others diminish once he assumed office in January. Before inauguration, the president-elect tossed out the Obama-appointed heads of the National Nuclear Security Administration, which later prompted the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists to move its “Doomsday Clock” closer to midnight. According to a new report, however, it seems Trump’s desire for more nukes triggered Rex Tillerson’s alleged “moron” jab at his boss.
Per NBC News, the president told his highest ranking national security advisers he wanted “what amounted to a nearly tenfold increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal” after seeing a chart depicting the steady reduction of the country’s stockpiles since the 1960s. Trump specifically told the room, which included State Secretary Tillerson and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he didn’t want to be at the “bottom position on that downward-sloping curve.” America, he said during the July 20th meeting at the Pentagon, needed a “bigger stockpile.”
Officials who spoke with NBC News indicated Tillerson and his companions “were surprised” at the president’s request, especially since it turned sharply from decades of nonpartisan nuclear policy practiced by Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton alike. It seemed Trump couldn’t immediately grasp the political and legal ramifications of such a drastic change, as stockpiling more nukes would violate several international treaties with numerous allies and governmental entities. As for the supposed “moron” insult, it was following this “tense” meeting that Tillerson allegedly complained about Trump’s ineptitude to those who remained with him.
(Via NBC News)