Yesterday, president-elect Donald Trump tweeted that the United States of America "must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability," which earned him a well-deserved dragging on Twitter. This morning, MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski claimed that Trump expanded on his ideas regarding nuclear weapons. "Let it be an arms race," Trump reportedly told her. "We will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all."
The comments were reported this morning by MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough. On their show, the duo had hosted Sean Spicer, Trump's newly-named White House Press Secretary. According to Mediaite, Spicer called Trump while sitting with the two MSNBC hosts. Brzezinski was given the phone at some point in order to talk to the president-elect. Trump made his "arms race" comment during that off-air conversation.
In the past, Trump opposed "a nuclear arms race," and worried about "NUCLEAR WEAPONS in the hands of crazy or incompetent leaders!"
For decades, the U.S. government has supported the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which holds that, among other things, "Countries with nuclear weapons will move towards disarmament" and "countries without nuclear weapons will not acquire them."
Some on Twitter noted how different Trump is on nukes compared to previous presidents:
According to NBC News, Putin said at a press conference on Friday, "It's not us who have been speeding up the arms race."
Later Friday morning, Spicer tried to clarify Trump's comment. "There's not going to be [an arms race] because he's going to ensure that other countries get the message that he's not going to sit back and allow that," Spicer told NBC’s Matt Lauer. "And what's going to happen is they will come to their senses and we will all be just fine."
Let's hope Trump doesn't kick off World War III.