'All the warning signs are there': Morning Joe begs Republicans to remove Trump before he launches nukes
Mika Brzezinski, Joe Scarborough, Elise Jordan and Steve Schmidt (MSNBC)

Republican strategist Steve Schmidt said enough is enough: It's time for Republican lawmakers to remove President Donald Trump from office before he recklessly provokes nuclear war.

Schmidt told MSNBC's Joe Scarborough that he wasn't ready to leave the GOP, as the "Morning Joe" host had, but he urged some of his fellow conservatives to show the same courage and honesty as Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN).

"We have a president who is clearly out of his depth," Schmidt said. "The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has acknowledged it. Foreign heads of state understand it, as well."

Scarborough reminded viewers of his warning, first issued in August 2016, about Trump's fascination with nuclear weapons.

"We got word from a top foreign policy adviser that Donald Trump asked three times about the ability to use nuclear weapons against places like, and he named North Korea -- we have nuclear weapons, why can't we use them?" Scarborough said. "We asked Gen. (Michael) Hayden about the clear and present danger of Donald Trump. If he were president, and he had nuclear weapons or he was in the nuclear showdown, were there any checks? And Gen. Hayden chillingly said, 'Well, unfortunately, that process is built for speed, not for checks and balances,' and so as I said earlier (Monday), all the warning signs are there. A lot of people have been warning about this for some time -- specifically to nuclear weapons."

Schmidt said the president's casual nuclear provocation against North Korea was incredibly worrisome -- and he was also concerned that Americans didn't seem to appreciate the existential threat Trump posed to the world.

"We're at a dangerous hour in the world," he said. "I do think there is a real lack of imagination in this country for the magnitude of the type of tragedy we could have with this reckless and irresponsible president, and it is past time for members of the United States Senate -- particularly in the Republican Party, who know what's going on -- to speak out directly about it, to communicate truthfully to the American people. They didn't take an oath to the Republican Party, they didn't take an oath to Donald Trump -- they took an oath to the Constitution of the United States."

Schmidt said GOP lawmakers must acknowledge that only they can stop Trump from making a grave mistake, and stop relying on his national security adviser, defense secretary or chief of staff to limit the damage the president can do.

"Isn't there a false sense of security that they have this team of (H.R.) McMaster and (James) Mattis and (John) Kelly, that can somehow contain him?" Schmidt said. "Hasn't it been proven time and time again that that's impossible? He will do whatever he wants and if he wants to be a little crazy, he'll be that, too. Corker has made that very clear that this guy cannot be contained."