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:

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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