Members of Congress returning to Washington were quick to condemn President Trump’s Tuesday-night tweet taunting North Korea’s Kim Jong Un about the sizes of their so-called nuclear buttons.
“North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the ‘Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times,’” Trump wrote. “Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!
Worried that @realDonaldTrump could launch a #nuclear war? My bill w/ @RepTedLieu would prevent Trump from launching a nuclear first strike. No one person should have the power to decide when the U.S. will be the first to use nuclear weapons. RT if you agree.
Cadet Bone Spurs should worry more about the 35K US troops stationed in ROK who could be killed in a #NorthKorea nuclear strike&ensuing artillery duel than the relative size of his "nuclear button" https://t.co/mbnj3z3pQJ
“I guess the president regards this as a show of strength,” Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., said on CNN. “But as everybody who’s ever been in a, you know, first-grade playground recognizes, it’s usually the person who’s most aggressively pounding their chest that is in fact the weak one on the playground.”
Meanwhile, some national security experts worried aloud about Trump’s state of mind.
Peter Wehner, a senior fellow at Washington’s Ethics & Public Policy Center and veteran of three Republican presidential administrations, said Trump’s recent behavior is “more evidence we’re watching an American president psychologically, emotionally and cognitively decompose.”
Mr. Trump's recent twitter storm/interviews are more evidence we're watching an American president psychologically, emotionally and cognitively decompose. It's rather alarming to watch, and the president is not well. But at least he's cutting regulations.
Spoken like a petulant ten year old. But one with nuclear weapons - for real - at his disposal. How responsible people around him, or supporting him, can dismiss this or laugh it off is beyond me. https://t.co/uKu6p1KUWp
Having a president like Trump who brags “Mine is bigger than yours” to overcome an apparent fear of impotence and emasculation would be merely pathetic if it didn’t risk nuclear war. Hate to say it, but @realDonaldTrump is a danger to civilization. https://t.co/4Fb708t9Is
Dan Scavino, the White House social media director, mocked the concern.
Carry on w/your night @BrianStelter. While you would love nothing more than to see a Twitter ToS Violation for handle: @realDonaldTrump, you and all of your liberal friends have NOTHING. Keep calling Twitter😭Stop trying to be the NEWS. Just report the NEWS & try keeping it REAL!
To the president’s core supporters, the “nuclear button” tweet was just Trump being Trump. And to Michael Flynn Jr., who served on Trump’s transition team and is the son of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, it was “why Trump was elected.”
The next month, Trump referred to Kim as “short and fat.”
On Tuesday, the president reiterated his preferred nickname for the North Korean dictator.
“Sanctions and ‘other’ pressures are beginning to have a big impact on North Korea,” Trump tweeted. “Soldiers are dangerously fleeing to South Korea. Rocket man now wants to talk to South Korea for first time. Perhaps that is good news, perhaps not — we will see!”
Key moments in 2017 between US and North Korea
Key moments in 2017 between US and North Korea
NEW YEARS DAY MISSILE LAUNCH
On January 1, 2017, North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un warned that an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) was in the 'final stages' of development.
During a visit to North Korea's border on March 17, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was unwittingly photographed by a North Korean soldier, who can be seen peering into the room on the right side of the image.
President Trump called North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un 'a pretty smart cookie' in an interview that went viral on April 30.
'At a very young age, he was able to assume power. A lot of people, I'm sure, tried to take that power away, whether it was his uncle or anybody else. And he was able to do it. So obviously, he's a pretty smart cookie,' Trump told CBS News.
The president also said he'd be 'honored' to meet with the North Korean leader.
KIM JONG UN'S LETTER TO CONGRESS
In early May, North Korea said it would continue its nuclear weapons tests and boost force 'to the maximum' in a stark warning to the U.S.
U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said North Korea's actions were 'quickly closing off the possibility of a diplomatic solution' and that the United States was prepared to use force 'if we must.'
'PILE OF ASH'
In a bold statement, North Korea threatened to turn the U.S. into a 'pile of ash' on July 12.
US THREATENED WITH 'MERCILESS BLOW'
On July 27, a North Korean spokesperson said, 'Should the U.S. dare to show even the slightest sign of attempt to remove our supreme leadership, we will strike a merciless blow at the heart of the U.S. with our powerful nuclear hammer, honed and hardened over time.'