Trump Wanted Dramatic Increase in Nuclear Arsenal in Meeting With Military Leaders

The same morning that President Trump tweeted again about "fake news", one of his top advisors said she never uses the term.

President Trump continued his assault on the "fake news media" on Wednesday - suggesting it is time to challenge the networks' broadcast licenses.

Two officials present said that at multiple points in the discussion, the president expressed a desire not just for more nuclear weapons, but for additional US troops and military equipment.

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"Recent reports that the President called for an increase in the USA nuclear arsenal are absolutely false", Mattis said without naming NBC. That came just over a month after Trump responded to a North Korean missile test by telling reporters that if the regime of Kim Jong-un issues further threats, the US will retaliate with "fire and fury like the world has never seen". "Trump indicated he wanted a bigger stockpile, not the bottom position on that downward-sloping curve".

Some officials present said they did not take Trump's desire for more nuclear weapons to be literally instructing the military to increase the actual numbers.

Trump's advisers, including the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, were surprised, according to the network.

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It was the second time in a week that NBC had referenced the July meeting. "It was soon after the meeting broke up that officials who remained behind heard Tillerson say that Trump was a "moron".

"Fake @NBCNews made up a story that I wanted a "tenfold" increase in our U.S. nuclear arsenal", Trump tweeted before he threatened NBC's right to broadcast.

If implemented, Trump's proposal would "make Americans less safe, could cause another nuclear arms race, and would inflame tensions with North Korea and other countries", Martin concluded.

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  • Ryan Wade