Putin showed a threatening video of nukes hitting Florida — and an outraged Trump snapped on him

  • US President Donald Trump reportedly became outraged after Russian President Vladimir Putin showed a video of nuclear weapons hitting Florida before his reelection in March.
  • Florida doesn't have a ton of military value, and it's very likely Russia showed the video as a direct threat to Trump.
  • Trump reportedly snapped on Putin, saying if he wanted an arms race, the US would beat him, according to Axios.
  • On the same call, Trump reportedly congratulated Putin on his March election victory despite being advised by his aides not to. 


US President Donald Trump reportedly became outraged after Russian President Vladimir Putin showed a video of nuclear weapons hitting Florida before his reelection in March.

During Putin's reelection campaign, where Russian authorities didn't allow meaningful opposition to run, he took to heavily touting the country's nuclear might.

In a March 1 speech, Putin detailed several new nuclear weapons, each time stressing that US defenses could not handle the new designs. 

But one of the computer generated videos he used to illustrate the weapons showed them hitting Florida, where Trump frequently visits his Mar-a-lago golf club and resort. This enraged Trump and prompted a sharp response, a source told the news website Axios

"Usually it's a bit of a love fest," on calls between Trump and Putin, a source close to Trump told Axios, but on this subject, Trump was angry.

Trump told Putin the video was "outrageous," according to Axios.

"I've already increased defense spending, modernized our nuclear weapons...We can do more, so if you want to do an arms race you’ll lose," Trump said, a source recalled to Axios.

Though Trump has invested in nuclear modernization and set a new US nuclear posture, the US's nuclear arsenal is virtually the exact same as it was before his election.

Photos from Putin and Trump's meeting: 

15 PHOTOS
President Donald Trump meets with Vladimir Putin in Finland
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President Donald Trump meets with Vladimir Putin in Finland
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) and U.S. President Donald Trump attend a meeting in Helsinki, Finland July 16, 2018. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
HELSINKI, FINLAND - JULY 16, 2018: The national flags of Russia and the United States seen ahead of a meeting of Russia's President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump. Valery Sharifulin/TASS (Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin arrive for a meeting in Helsinki, on July 16, 2018. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R), U.S. President Donald Trump (C) and First lady Melania Trump attend a meeting in Helsinki, Finland July 16, 2018. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
HELSINKI, FINLAND - JULY 16: (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY MANDATORY CREDIT - 'KREMLIN PRESS OFFICE / HANDOUT' - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) (L-R) US First Lady Melania Trump, US President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and his wife Jenni Haukio pose for a photo during their meeting in Helsinki, Finland on July 16, 2018. (Photo by Kremlin Press Office / Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R), U.S. President Donald Trump (C) and First lady Melania Trump attend a meeting in Helsinki, Finland July 16, 2018. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
U.S. President Donald Trump meets with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin shake hands as they meet in Helsinki, Finland July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) and U.S. President Donald Trump attend a meeting in Helsinki, Finland July 16, 2018. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
HELSINKI, FINLAND JULY 16, 2018: US President Donald Trump (L) and Russia's President Vladimir Putin give a joint news conference following their meeting at the Presidential Palace. Valery Sharifulin/TASS (Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin react at the end of the joint news conference after their meeting in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
U.S. President Donald Trump receives a football from Russia's President Vladimir Putin during their joint news conference after a meeting in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (C), U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and First lady Melania Trump pose for a picture with a football during a meeting in Helsinki, Finland July 16, 2018. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
HELSINKI, FINLAND JULY 16, 2018: US First Lady Melania Trump, Russia's President Vladimir Putin, and US President Donald Trump (L-R) after a news conference at the Presidential Palace. Valery Sharifulin/TASS (Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images)
U.S. First Lady Melania Trump holds a football thrown to her by U.S. President Donald Trump during his joint news conference with Russia's President Vladimir Putin after a meeting in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
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Putin's clear threat to Trump

At the time the video first came out, former CIA Director Michael Hayden said on CNN he found it "stunning" that Russia would show a video of Florida getting nuked, and that "clearly [Putin] wanted us to see that."

The US and Russia control the wide majority of nuclear weapons on earth. Since the Cold War, the US has shifted from targeting high value, civilian-rich targets like Russia's major cities, to targeting nuclear weapons sites.

The US's nuclear missiles now exist mainly to target and destroy Russia's nuclear missiles as a means of blunting any Russian counter attack.

Florida doesn't hold any unique nuclear infrastructure. If Russia nuked Florida, it wouldn't provide much of a military advantage, and would purely punish civilian populations. Increasingly, it looks like Russia is preparing a nuclear arsenal meant to kill people and wreck the earth, rather than to precisely target the US's nuclear threats to Russia's homeland. 

But Trump's reported rebuke of Russia came on a March 20 call that wasn't entirely tense. Trump reportedly congratulated Putin on his election victory despite being warned several times by top aides against this

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