In an apparent attempt to “one-up” and embarrass Russia many are wondering if President Donald Trump just tweeted out U.S. national nuclear secrets. Seven people died last week during a “failed test of Russia’s SSC-X-9 Skyfall, a nuclear-powered cruise missile still in development,” as Vox reported. One expert called it a flying nuclear reactor.
President Trump, who has been tweeting up a storm ever since he kicked off his 10-day August vacation at his golf course in Bedminster, NJ, apparently decided late Monday afternoon was a good time to respond – not with condolences for the lives lost, but by gloating.
“The United States is learning much from the failed missile explosion in Russia,” Trump tweeted, needlessly. “We have similar, though more advanced, technology. The Russian ‘Skyfall’ explosion has people worried about the air around the facility, and far beyond. Not good!”
Some were quick to realize Trump at least sounded like he was (once again) revealing national secrets via Twitter.
Assuming he’s not lying, Trump would seem to be casually tweeting out national secrets. https://t.co/7NiWD19aXh
— Chris O’Leary | Baseball (@thepainguy) August 12, 2019
Here’s the Communications Director for U.S. Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA), who sits on the House Ways and Means Committee and the Science Committee.
Tweeting about the status of secret nuclear weapons research, as one does https://t.co/wpZQ5rjRl4
— Aaron Fritschner (@Fritschner) August 12, 2019
Some experts chastised the President, while appearing to try to assure the world Trump was basically bluffing.
Here’s a professor of international relations and national security at the U.S. Naval War College:
It is a bad idea for the President to tell the world the U.S. has secret nuclear powered super-weapons and that we’ve been lying about that for years. Especially if we don’t actually have them, which we almost certainly do not. https://t.co/pK0sNPRpeg
— David Burbach (@dburbach) August 12, 2019
Here’s a noted nuclear weapons expert:
This is bizarre. We do not have a nuclear-powered cruise missile program. We tried to build one, in the 1960’s, but it was too crazy, too unworkable, too cruel even for those nuclear nuts Cold War years. https://t.co/DWMn07yO3Y https://t.co/7Uqpx7B7Sk
— Joe Cirincione (@Cirincione) August 12, 2019
There were other responses from some notables.
Washington Correspondent for TIME magazine:
Did the President just confirm the existence of a missile system with mini-nuclear reactors aboard, eliminating distance limitations, and that can fly low and weave around anti-missile shields? https://t.co/Bg1bzBXRwG
— Phil Elliott (@Philip_Elliott) August 12, 2019
If news reports on nature of the Russian test are correct, then the President has just asserted that the US has nuclear-propelled cruise missiles.
That would be newsworthy. https://t.co/XhxzLM5l0k
— Dan McFadden (@Dan_McF) August 12, 2019
Reuters DC National Security Correspondent:
Huh? Is he saying the US has secretly developed a nuclear-powered cruise missile? Project Pluto was canceled in July 1964. At same time, he confirms story I published Friday on experts suspecting explosion of Skyfall. https://t.co/Df8pHAS8Gm https://t.co/SXp12oxq3I
— Jonathan Landay (@JonathanLanday) August 12, 2019
So, is the President of the United States lying/bluffing about our capabilities (we don’t have missiles with tiny nuclear reactors) or just revealing our secret weapons to the world… Which is worse? https://t.co/LpO7bY1nlI
— Real Talk 910 (@RealTalk910) August 12, 2019
— Jason Tiscione (@JasonTiscione) August 12, 2019
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Trump exonerates himself in weird third-person tweet: ‘President Trump didn’t do anything wrong or illegal’
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"As Corey Lewandowski stated very clearly yesterday in front of the House Judiciary Committee, President Trump didn’t do anything wrong or illegal," Trump tweeted about himself. "But they all know that. The Democrats are hurting our Country, and getting nothing done. Shameful!"