Did President Donald Trump ask his National Security Council about the possibility of using nuclear weapons to diffuse hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean? The president has strongly denied doing so, but a memo or set of memos may contradict his claims.
As previously detailed by reporting from HillReporter.com, the president questioned whether nuclear weapons would be feasible for use in defending America’s coasts from the threat of hurricanes.
“Why don’t we nuke them?” Trump asked, according to a source which spoke to the news agency Axios. “They start forming off the coast of Africa, as they’re moving across the Atlantic, we drop a bomb inside the eye of the hurricane and it disrupts it. Why can’t we do that?”
Trump has denied multiple times that he ever made such comments. On Monday evening, he suggested the story was being promulgated by “the Fake News.”
“This is so ridiculous, never happened!” Trump added in his tweet on the matter.
Just returned to Washington from France and the very successful G-7, only to find that the Fake News is still trying to perpetuate the phony story that I wanted to use Nuclear weapons to blow up hurricanes before they reach shore. This is so ridiculous, never happened!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 27, 2019
Responding to an earlier instance of Trump denying the report’s authenticity, Jonathan Swan, the Axios reporter who initially co-authored the article, said he stood by his work, and suggested there was “memorialized” proof of Trump asking about bombing hurricanes.
I stand by every word in the story. He said this in at least two meetings during the first year and a bit of the presidency, and one of the conversations was memorialized. https://t.co/5qs8o1k4QS
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) August 26, 2019
By “memorialized,” Swan may be alluding to the original reporting he conducted, which based the allegations on memoranda written during National Security Council meetings in which Trump made the comments. Sources that spoke with Axios cited specific memos in claiming the president asked about bombing hurricanes.
Those sources said the memo included “multiple topics, not just hurricanes…It wasn’t that somebody was so terrified of the bombing idea that they wrote it down. They just captured the president’s comments.”
So is Trump lying? It’s hard to say for sure without seeing the memo firsthand. However, Trump has called news he finds to be to his disliking (rather than actually being false) “fake” in the past, and the president has a track record of not being truthful with the American people in the past.
According to reporting from the Washington Post, Trump has told more than 12,000 lies since becoming president.