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Tillerson 'Moron' Comment Followed Trump's Call for Massive Nuclear Buildup

14 October 2017

NBC early Wednesday reported Trump queried US military officials over the possibility of increasing the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile by tenfold during a summer meeting.

During the height of the Cold War, the stockpile of nuclear weapons from Russian Federation and the US was at its peak due to an ongoing arms race.

His missive came shortly after he vehemently denied an NBC News report that he asked to dramatically expand the United States nuclear arsenal. 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 USA will retaliate with "fire and fury like the world has never seen". They briefly explained to Trump the legal and practical hurdles to a nuclear buildup, according to NBC News.

It was the same meeting where Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also reportedly called Trump a "moron".

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Asked for a response to the president's comments, a White House official speaking only on the condition of anonymity, said that the nuclear arsenal was not a primary topic of the briefing. "It was soon after the meeting broke up that officials who remained behind heard Tillerson say that Trump was a "moron".

Citing "three officials who were in the room", NBC reports Trump indicated during the meeting that he wants to expand America's arsenal of nuclear weapons to about 32,000 - a huge increase from the current stockpile of about 4,000. Trump later tweeted that the story is, "Pure fiction, made up to demean".

He followed up nearly immediately with his veiled threat to strip NBC of their licence. The Federal Communications Commission, which oversees broadcast licenses (for individual stations, not networks), is an independent agency in the federal government and is not required to follow presidential orders.

Tillerson 'Moron' Comment Followed Trump's Call for Massive Nuclear Buildup