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Trump: 'I Never Said' We Should Nuke Hurricanes

President denies Axios report of unusual approach to preventing landfall
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 26, 2019 2:55 AM CDT
Updated Aug 26, 2019 6:21 AM CDT
President Trump boards Air Force One for a trip to Florida to tour areas impacted by Hurricane Michael, and to attend a political rally, Wednesday, May 8, 2019, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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(Newser) – The man in charge of the world's most powerful nuclear arsenal is denying a report that he suggested using it to control the weather. Sources told Axios that President Trump has repeatedly told national security officials that they should look into bombing hurricanes to prevent them making landfall in the US. One source says that during a briefing, Trump said: "I got it. I got it. Why don't we nuke them?" The source says that after Trump suggested dropping a nuclear bomb into the eye of the hurricane, he was told: "Sir, we'll look into that." Malarkey, says Trump himself in a tweet early Monday. "The story by Axios that President Trump wanted to blow up large hurricanes with nuclear weapons prior to reaching shore is ridiculous. I never said this. Just more FAKE NEWS!" Axios notes that the idea has been around since the Eisenhower administration.

NOAA has a page explaining that it might not affect the storm, and also "neglects the problem that the released radioactive fallout would fairly quickly move with the tradewinds to affect land areas and cause devastating environmental problems." "Needless to say, this is not a good idea," NOAA says. Another administration official defended Trump's line of questioning, saying: "His objective is not bad." "What people near the president do is they say 'I love a president who asks questions like that, who’s willing to ask tough questions,'" the official says. "For me, alarm bells weren't going off when I heard about it, but I did think somebody is going to use this to feed into 'the president is crazy' narrative." The White House says it doesn't "comment on private discussions that the president may or may not have had with his national security team," the Guardian reports. (Read more hurricane stories.)

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