Trump Offers 1st Thoughts on Nuclear Weapons as President

He wants the US nuclear arsenal to be 'top of the pack'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2017 6:25 PM CST
Trump Wants US to Be 'Top of the Pack' for Nuclear Weapons
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting on domestic and international human trafficking, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017,in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

In an exclusive interview, President Trump tells Reuters he wants the US to be "top of the pack" when it comes to nuclear weapons. It's the first time Trump has discussed the American nuclear arsenal since becoming president. Trump says he would prefer a world with no nuclear weapons, calling it a "dream." But in the meantime, he says the US has "fallen behind" in its nuclear arsenal. Russia is said to have 7,300 nuclear warheads to the US' 6,970. Trump called the country's most recent nuclear treaty with Russia, which takes effect in 2018, "just another bad deal."

Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, says both the US and Russia already have far more nuclear weapons than could ever be necessary. "The history of the Cold War shows us that no one comes out 'on the top of the pack' of an arms race and nuclear brinkmanship," he says. The US is in the process of spending $1 trillion to modernize the nuclear arsenal it already has, and most experts say the country can't afford it. Outside of nuclear weapons, Trump tells Reuters China could "very easily" solve the North Korea problem, says he's "totally in favor" of the EU (something he bashed as recently as last month), and says he prefers a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine. Read the full piece here. (More nuclear weapons stories.)

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