Jonathan Capehart, the Pulitzer Prize winning opinion writer now with The Washington Post, reported on the potential of President Donald Trump starting a nuclear war while guest hosting AM Joy on MSNBC.
"One hallmark of Trump's first year in office has been the increasing isolation of America on the world stage," Capehart explained. "There was his internationally condemned decision to move the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and recognize the city as the country's capital, then of course the backlash, not to mention the verbal sparring between Trump and Kim Jong-Un, fueled by the erratic behavior that led one of my guests to list none other than Donald Trump as the world's biggest nuclear threat -- of this year and next."
Capehart introduced Joe Cirincione, the president of Ploughshares Fund and the author of Nuclear Nightmares: Securing the World Before It Is Too Late. Cirincione authored the Defense One article identifying President Trump as the world's greatest nuclear threat.
For the first time in 35 years of analysis, I must list the United States as the greatest nuclear threat in the wor… https://t.co/eHOPzqdnFY— Joe Cirincione (@Joe Cirincione) 1514490437.0
"I've been tracking U.S. and global nuclear policies for over 35 years here in Washington, this is the first time I've listed the United States as the number one nuclear threat in the world today," Cirincione noted. "Most importantly, it's the risk of war with North Korea, The president's policy with North Korea has been incoherent and unable to stem this race that North Korea has to reach us with a nuclear weapon, that's probably the greatest risk of war in the region."
"Finally, it's that the President of the United States with everything you just discussed, all the concerns you have about his mental stability, he has unfettered control of the most powerful nuclear arsenal in the world. He could order the launch of a nuclear missile and with four minutes that missile would be launched and no one could stop it," Cirincione explained. "That makes the United States the most serious nuclear threat in the world today.
"When it comes to the American nuclear arsenal, the president has complete control, does he not?" Capehart asked bestselling author and intelligence expert Malcolm Nance.
"Yeah, the term that people use is that he's a nuclear monarch. He can, on his own authority, on his own belief at any time virtually against any target in the world...he can launch a nuclear weapon," Nance explained. "We call it the 35-minute solution."
"He can order that the football, which is communications package and strike options package be brought to him. He can choose a strike package within a minute and using the communications authentication device in his pocket, he can order the nuclear forces to launch a Minuteman Three missile and in 30 minutes it will strike North Korea and detonate," Nance explained. "No one is in that chain to stop him."
Capehart asked Nance about the speculation that somebody could tackle President Trump to stop a nuclear war.
"Of course, you know that's not viable. You will die when the Secret Service comes in and finds you have hands on the President of the United States and the football is open," Nance explained. "That's not a viable option."
"The only viable option is that the Secretary of Defense, who has to authenticate...that is the President of the United States giving a lawful order, won't authenticate it because it may be an unlawful order," Nance noted. "But if Donald Trump decides this morning that he will nuke North Korea and he gives a lawful order by saying, 'I have determined it's a clear and present danger,' 35 minutes later, whatever target he's aimed at will vaporize and with it of course the credibility of the United States -- the global economy...nothing will be in Walmart in 72 hours, you know."
"It's a horrible nightmare to discuss this," Nance concluded.