Donald Trump’s stunning threat on Tuesday to wage a nuclear war with North Korea was unplanned and off-the-cuff, according to a new report in The New York Times.
According to the newspaper, Trump didn’t care to run his comments past anybody who knows a thing or a two about foreign policy – he just ad-libbed the comments during a meeting about the opioid crisis.
More from the report:
President Trump delivered his “fire and fury” threat to North Korea on Tuesday with arms folded, jaw set and eyes flitting on what appeared to be a single page of talking points set before him on the conference table at his New Jersey golf resort.
The piece of paper, as it turned out, was a fact sheet on the opioid crisis he had come to talk about, and his ominous warning to Pyongyang was entirely improvised, according to several people with direct knowledge of what unfolded. In discussions with advisers beforehand, he had not run the specific language by them, though he had talked over possible responses in a general way.
That’s right: The current President of the United States doesn’t think it’s necessary to, you know, develop a thoughtful, level-headed response when it comes to something as serious as potential nuclear war.
But it’s not as if many Americans didn’t see this coming before last fall’s presidential election.
Hillary Clinton, the 2016 popular vote winner, warned the country last year that this is the kind of temperament that would make Trump a dangerous president.
“A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.” —Hillary
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) July 29, 2016
Even Trump himself issued a warning in 2013, saying “horrendous leadership” could potentially lead the country into another world war.
Be prepared, there is a small chance that our horrendous leadership could unknowingly lead us into World War III.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 31, 2013
Amen to that, 2013 version of Donald Trump.
Little did he know that it is his horrendous leadership – and his inability to approach the presidency with some maturity and self-restraint – that is pushing this country closer to nuclear war.
Ultimately, it’s difficult to find an issue that Trump approaches in a thoughtful or knowledgeable way, but the idea of winging it when it comes to nuclear war is stunning and dangerous – even for this president.
As The Atlantic noted on Tuesday, “The president confronts a situation that calls for a trustworthy, careful, decisive leader drawing on all available expertise.”
Instead, we have Donald Trump.