Unsurprisingly, Donald Trump’s presidential campaign denied a report on Wednesday that the Republican presidential nominee had three times asked a foreign policy adviser why the U.S. could not use its vast nuclear arsenal. As The Hill reports, “there is no truth to this,” spokeswoman Hope Hicks told The Hill in an email, as the anecdote from MSNBC anchor Joe Scarborough gained traction on the internet.
While Trump’s campaign is denying that he posed the questions during the briefing, his positions on nuclear policy have deviated from the mainstream on several counts.
For one, Trump has openly suggested that major powers such as Japan, South Korea and Saudi Arabia obtain nuclear weapons, in what experts say could lead to a dramatic proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Trump later appeared to walk the statement back, though his position has been hard to pin down.
Separately, the GOP nominee has refused to rule out using nuclear weapons in Europe or against extremists such as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), something practically unheard of in modern American political rhetoric.
"I don't want to take cards off the table; I'd never do that,” Trump said in March.
Trump has characterized the radical departures from national security norms as in part an insistence on remaining unpredictable, and in part a refusal to abide by what he has described as failing policies that have weakened U.S. stature overseas.
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As we detailed earlier, while the topic of a $1.7bn bribe from US taxpayers to Iran is apparently ignored by the mainstream media, today's anti-Trump narrative scaremongery will be focused, we are sure, on MSNBC's Joe Scarborough's comments, citing an unnamed source, that "Donald Trump asked three times, in an hour-long foreign policy briefing, "why can't [The US] use nuclear weapons.""
"Several months ago, a foreign policy expert on the international level went to advise Donald Trump. 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 said on his "Morning Joe" program.
Scarborough made the comments during a brief interview with Director of Central Intelligence and ex-National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden. Fast forward 50 seconds into the clip.
And just like that, the Obama/Clinton narrative is confirmed...by uncited sources.