At a news briefing at the Pentagon, President Barack Obama called on voters to listen to Donald Trump’s statements on national defense and decide for themselves if the Republican presidential nominee could be trusted with a nuclear arsenal.
The stated purpose of the Aug. 5 press conference was to provide an update on the war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, but Stephen Collinson and Kevin Liptak of CNN say its underlying purpose was to continue to present Trump as an unfit commander-in-chief.
“This is serious business,” Obama said, stating that defense leaders and servicemen “are counting on somebody who has the temperament and good judgment to be able to make decisions to keep America safe.”
When asked if he was suggesting that Trump did not have a suitable temperament, Obama referenced his many denouncements of Trump, saying, “I obviously have a very strong opinion about the two candidates who are running...”
He continued, “...Just listen to what Mr. Trump has to say and make your own judgment with respect to how confident you feel about his ability to manage things like our nuclear triad."
The term “nuclear triad” refers to the capability of a nation to send nuclear weapons by air, land and sea or with bombers, missiles and submarines, according to The Hill.
The phrase previously arose in the campaign after a Republican primary debate in which Trump was asked repeatedly which leg of the triad would be his priority. Trump declined to answer, instead discussing the Iraq war and the danger of nuclear proliferation, leading some commentators to speculate that Trump did not know what the term referred to, according to CNN.
At the conference, Obama also called Trump’s recent warnings of a rigged November election “ridiculous.”
"If Mr. Trump is up 10 or 15 points on Election Day and he ends up losing, then, you know, maybe he can raise some questions," Obama said. "That doesn't seem to be the case at the moment."
This statement is the latest in a string of attacks on Trump by Obama, who said on Aug. 2 that the nominee is “unfit” to be president and called on Republicans to retract their endorsements.