Trump Doubles Down on Nuclear Talk
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Thursday doubled down on his promise to not rule out using nuclear weapons in Europe.
“I don’t want to take cards off the table; I’d never do that,” Trump said during a phone interview on “The O’Reilly Factor,” adding, “the last person to press that button would be me.”
Guest host Eric Bolling acknowledged not ruling out using nuclear weapons against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), but he pressed Trump about the possibility of using them in Europe.
“Europe is a big place. I’m not going to take cards off the table,” Trump said.
Trump raised eyebrows Wednesday for insisting during a town hall on MSNBC that he wouldn’t take nukes off the table in any situation, including in Europe.
The businessman has argued that he wants to remain unpredictable on foreign policy matters and has suggested a U.S. military presence in Japan and South Korea be replaced by their own nuclear arsenals.
White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said Thursday it’d be “catastrophic” if countries like Japan and South Korea obtained nuclear weapons, citing opposition to nuclear proliferation.
During his Fox News interview, Trump appeared to tout his opposition to the Iraq War in an attempt to cast himself as cautious on major foreign policy decisions.
“The last person that wants to play the nuclear card, believe me, is me,” Trump said.
Yes, Europe is a big place. That we can agree on.
Current US nuclear policy says we will not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear opponents. That has been US policy for about a half-century. Just because that is policy doesn’t mean it is a great idea or anything, but what it does mean is that before you throw that policy under the bus, a policy which undergirds many of our defense alliances, you need to have some really good reason for doing so. “Not taking any cards off the table” is not such a reason.
This policy, as well as the nuclear non-proliferation policy, which tries to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of new countries, such as Iran, has helped to keep nuclear weapons from being used for over 65 years. Allowing new countries to obtain nuclear weapons would be bad to destabilizing in some cases.
Also side note, at the 2 minute mark in the media clip below Eric Boling admits to taking orders from the RNC.