MSNBC host Joe Scarborough has alleged that GOP nominee Donald Trump repeatedly asked a foreign policy adviser why the U.S. is not allowed to deploy its nuclear arsenal.
On August 3, during an interview with former CIA Director Michael Hayden, the “Morning Joe” host recalled a disturbing conversation he had with an anonymous foreign policy expert, CNBC reports.
“Several months ago, a foreign policy expert on the international level went to advise Donald Trump,” Scarborough said. “And three times [Trump] asked about the use of nuclear weapons. Three times he asked -- at one point -- if we had them why can’t we use them.”
Scarborough’s co-host, Mika Brzezinski, added “Be careful America and be careful Republican leaders.”
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Scarborough asked Hayden what the timeframe would be between Trump ordering a nuclear strike and an actual missile launch.
“It’s scenario dependent, but the system is designed for speed and decisiveness,” Hayden responded. “It’s not designed to debate the decision.”
Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks denied Scarborough’s version of events in an email to The Hill.
“There is no truth to this,” Hicks wrote.
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While the assertion that Trump would be open to using the U.S. nuclear arsenal remains anecdotal, the business mogul has previously drawn controversy for suggesting that other nations amass nuclear weapons instead of relying on American protection.
During a Wisconsin town hall in March 2016, Trump stated that nations such as Japan and Saudi Arabia may have to develop nuclear weapons.
“You have so many countries already -- China, Pakistan, you have so many countries, Russia -- you have so many countries right now that have them,” Trump said, according to CBS News. “Now, wouldn’t you rather, in a certain sense, have Japan have nuclear weapons when North Korea has nuclear weapons?”
When asked if he would be willing to go against longstanding U.S. policy of halting nuclear proliferation, Trump said “Maybe it’s going to have to be time to change … You have so many other countries are now having it.”
The business mogul concluded that he would like to see Japan go nuclear because “it’s going to happen anyway … It’s only a question of time.”