Trump wants to get rid of nukes says John Kelly

  • White House chief of staff said there's no truth to an NBC News report claiming the president wanted a 10-fold increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal
  • 'I hear him most say about nuclear weapons that, "Wouldn't it be great if we could get rid of them all?"' said John Kelly
  • Kelly also said Americans 'should be concerned' that North Korea is on its way to nuclear arms capability' 
  • Trump had already declared that he had 'never discussed increasing' the size of the U.S. stockpile
  • He also raised the idea of challenging NBC's broadcasting license over what he called a 'fake news' report 

By David Martosko, Us Political Editor For Dailymail.com

Published: 15:09 EDT, 12 October 2017 | Updated: 16:06 EDT, 12 October 2017

The White House chief of staff forcefully denied on Thursday that President Trump wants to enlarge America's nuclear weapons arsenal.

A hotly disputed NBC News report this week claimed Trump told his top military brass he was interested in a whopping ten-fold increase.

Instead, John Kelly told reporters in a surprise White House briefing room appearance, Trump is on board with the idea of globally eliminating the apocalyptic weapons.

'I hear him most say about nuclear weapons that, "Wouldn't it be great if we could get rid of them all?" As opposed to, "We need ten times more",' Kelly said.

FAKE NEWS: White House Chief of Staff John Kelly insisted Thursday that President Trump never told his generals he wanted a massive expansion of America's nuclear weapons arsenal

STANDING HIS GROUND: Trump was accused in an NBC report of wanting a ten-fold increase in the number of atomic weapons in America's stockpile ¿ something he flatly denied
STANDING HIS GROUND: Trump was accused in an NBC report of wanting a ten-fold increase in the number of atomic weapons in America's stockpile ¿ something he flatly denied

STANDING HIS GROUND: Trump was accused in an NBC report of wanting a ten-fold increase in the number of atomic weapons in America's stockpile – something he flatly denied

When Trump talks about maintaining and modernizing the U.S. atomic stockpile, he insisted, 'that doesn't mean increase in numbers.'

'I hear him say more, talk more about, "Wouldn't it be great? How could we get rid of nuclear weapons?"'

Kelly referred to the NBC report, dismissing 'what someone reported the other day about the president.'

Trump himself has already swatted down the NBC report, tweeting: 'Fake @NBCNews made up a story that I wanted a "tenfold" increase in our U.S. nuclear arsenal,' Trump tweeted. 'Pure fiction, made up to demean.'

The president also hinted that there might be a way to challenge the network's broadcast license.

This 2014 file photo shows an inert Minuteman 3 missile in a training launch tube at Minot Air Force Base, in North Dakota; the base maintains 150 nuclear-tipped missiles spread out across the North Dakota countryside and keeps them ready to launch at a moment's notice as part of the US nuclear defense strategy
This 2014 file photo shows an inert Minuteman 3 missile in a training launch tube at Minot Air Force Base, in North Dakota; the base maintains 150 nuclear-tipped missiles spread out across the North Dakota countryside and keeps them ready to launch at a moment's notice as part of the US nuclear defense strategy

This 2014 file photo shows an inert Minuteman 3 missile in a training launch tube at Minot Air Force Base, in North Dakota; the base maintains 150 nuclear-tipped missiles spread out across the North Dakota countryside and keeps them ready to launch at a moment's notice as part of the US nuclear defense strategy

Kelly told reporters that North Korean despot Kim Jong-Un (pictured, seated) 'has developed a pretty good ICBM capability and is developing a pretty good nuclear reentry vehicle'
Kelly told reporters that North Korean despot Kim Jong-Un (pictured, seated) 'has developed a pretty good ICBM capability and is developing a pretty good nuclear reentry vehicle'

Kelly told reporters that North Korean despot Kim Jong-Un (pictured, seated) 'has developed a pretty good ICBM capability and is developing a pretty good nuclear reentry vehicle'

Hours later he told reporters during an Oval office photo-op with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that he had 'never discussed increasing' the size of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. 

'I want it in perfect shape. That was just fake news by NBC, which gives a lot of fake news lately,' he said.

'I think somebody said I want ten times the nuclear weapons that we have right now,' Trump scoffed. 'Right now we have so many nuclear weapons. I want them in perfect condition, perfect shape. That's the only thing I've ever discussed.'

In December 2016 when he was president-elect, Trump tweeted: 'The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.' 

IS TRUMP ON BOARD? The Nobel Peace Prize this year went to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, which pushes for a global treaty to ban the cataclysmic bombs
IS TRUMP ON BOARD? The Nobel Peace Prize this year went to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, which pushes for a global treaty to ban the cataclysmic bombs

IS TRUMP ON BOARD? The Nobel Peace Prize this year went to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, which pushes for a global treaty to ban the cataclysmic bombs

Kelly said that Trump wants to 'modernize' of America's nuclear weapons program withoout enlarging it; some underground missile command consoles still look like something out of a Cold War movie set
Kelly said that Trump wants to 'modernize' of America's nuclear weapons program withoout enlarging it; some underground missile command consoles still look like something out of a Cold War movie set

Kelly said that Trump wants to 'modernize' of America's nuclear weapons program withoout enlarging it; some underground missile command consoles still look like something out of a Cold War movie set

In some cases, launch codes are contained on antiquated 8-inch floppy disks (left), and the physical launch mechanisms are still carried out by keys and flip-switches

Kelly, a former U.S. Marine Corps general and former Homeland Security secretary, said Thursday that Americans 'should be concerned' that North Korea is on its way to nuclear arms capability.'

He said Kim Jong-Un's dictatorship 'has developed a pretty good ICBM capability and is developing a pretty good nuclear reentry vehicle.'

Pyongyang 'simply cannot have the ability to reach the [U.S.] homeland' with a missile, he insisted, adding that 'right now we think the threat is manageable.'

Kelly also mentioned Iran as 'a possible nuclear threat,' and talked about a potential domino effect.

If North Korea and Iran are successful, he said, 'there would be a real impetus for a lot of countries to develop or buy nuclear weapons.'


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