When President-elect Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday about the need for the United States to “greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes,” it set members of the left-wing media and watchdog groups on edge. For example, John Tierney, executive director of the hard-left Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, exclaimed: “It is dangerous for the President-elect to use just 140 characters [to] announce a major change in U.S. nuclear weapons policy … the potential consequences of changing U.S. nuclear weapons policy so drastically are simply unimaginable.”
Trump’s Thursday Twitter remarks were a response to comments by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who earlier in the week said, “We need to strengthen the military potential of [our] strategic nuclear forces, especially with missile complexes that can reliably penetrate any existing and prospective missile defense systems.”
When Trump was quizzed about his tweet, he responded privately to CNBC’s Morning Joe host Mika Brzezinski, saying, “Let it be an arms race … we will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all.” Of course, with the anti-Trump national media, nothing is ever “off the record” and his response was reported widely.
This allowed Trump’s newly-appointed White House spokesman Sean Spicer to respond that any concerns about a new arms race with Russia were completely unfounded, implying that it was a “made-up” issue for a media desperately seeking anything to discredit the incoming administration. Said Spicer, “[Trump is] going to ensure that other countries get the message that he’s not going to sit back allow that [an arms race]. What’s going to happen is they will come to their senses, and we will all be just fine.”
Jason Miller, a Trump spokesman, expanded on Spicer’s remarks: "President-elect Trump was referring to the threat of nuclear proliferation and the critical need to prevent it — particularly to and among terrorist organizations and unstable and rogue regimes. He has also emphasized the need to improve and modernize our deterrent capability as a vital way to pursue peace through strength."
On Friday, Putin himself put the matter to rest: "Of course the U.S. has more missiles, submarines and aircraft carriers, but what we say is that we are stronger than any aggressor, and this is the case. As for Donald Trump, there is nothing new about it. During his election campaign he said the U.S. needs to bolster its nuclear capabilities and its armed forces in general."
In other words, it appears that the left-wing media and its progressive think-tanks are "all in a twitter" about nothing.
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