President Donald Trump's controversial "fire and fury" threat aimed at North Korea was entirely improvised.
According to The New York Times, his aides were caught unaware when Trump said North Korea will "be met with fire and fury" if it threatened the U.S.
"North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States," Trump said while on vacation at his Bedminster golf club in New Jersey. "They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen."
As he made the incendiary comments, the president glanced at a paper in front of him. It turns out this was an unrelated fact sheet about the opioid crisis in the U.S., not North Korea.
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In response, the Pyongyang threatened to decimate an American air base on Guam.
Since Trump said his controversial words, the president's aides have rushed to reassure Americans and the world all is well.
"I think Americans should sleep well at night, have no concerns about this particular rhetoric of the last few days," Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
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"Nothing I have seen and nothing I know of would indicate that the situation has dramatically changed in the last 24 hours," Tillerson added as he boarded a plane due to make temporary stop in Guam.
But Tillerson did not completely dismiss the credibility of Trump's threat.
"What the president is doing is sending a strong message to North Korea in language that Kim Jong Un would understand, because he doesn't seem to understand diplomatic language," Tillerson said.
"I think the president just wanted to be clear to the North Korean regime that the U.S. has unquestionable ability to defend itself, will defend itself and its allies, and I think it was important that he deliver that message to avoid any miscalculation on their part," he added.
While Tillerson defended Trump, some on social media were stunned the president would made such a serious threat so impulsively.
"He is too arrogant to understand that anything he says about a delicate matter like this needs to be carefully thought out in advance and discussed with his advisers," wrote one commenter on The New York Times' Facebook page.
"Please try not to improvise too often," added another reader. "I'd like to see this world still in one piece long after you've mercifully gone."
"Shocking," another commenter added sarcastically. "Unprepared and ill considered threats, escalating an already fraught situation? But he's so famously even keeled."