Sen. Murphy: Trump So 'Unstable' He May Order Nuclear Strike

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But "because even a single nuclear detonation would be so consequential and might trigger an escalatory spiral that would lead to civilization-threatening outcomes, we must also have a high assurance that there would never be an accidental or unauthorized use of nuclear weapons", Feaver added.

The time may be ripe for Congress to look at the command and control system now used to determine whether or not to launch a nuclear weapon, Duke political science professor and former National Security Adviser Peter Feaver testified Tuesday.

That was the message Tuesday from an extraordinary, first-time-in-four-decades hearing convened by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker โ€• who last month said he anxious that Trump could "start World War III" and called the White House an "adult day care center".

"We are concerned that the President of the United States is so unstable, is so volatile, has a decision-making process that is so quixotic that he might order a nuclear strike that is wildly out of step with USA national security interests", said Sen. In such a scenario, the timespan to deliberate is shorter and less subject to legal discussion, Feaver said.

Addressing the committee, Brian McKeon, a former top Pentagon official, said Trump's tweets during the ongoing stand-off with North Korea should not be taken lightly given that North Korea does not have the capabilities to check to see if some of Trump's comments are mere bluster.

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While the President retains constitutional authority to order some military action, Kehler explained that the nuclear decision process "includes assessment, review and consultation between the President and key civilian and military leaders, followed by transmission and implementation of any Presidential decision by the forces themselves". "You'd either get a new secretary of defense or get a new commander". Edward Markey, is why his bill requiring a president to seek congressional approval before launching a first strike is so necessary.

Committee member Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., had a different motive for the hearing.

Rubio was referring to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un โ€• but his description was similar to the way Democrats on the panel were describing Trump. He said those comments are fueled by Trump's statements about North Korea, including his remark in August that the USA could respond to Pyongyang with "fire and fury like the world has never seen".

"I would be very anxious about a miscalculation based on continuing use of his Twitter account with regard to North Korea", Mr McKeon said. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.). In a September speech at the United Nations, Trump said the United States would "totally destroy North Korea" if it had to.

Multiple senators argued that the President's loose Twitter finger could have catastrophic consequences. And days after calling on Kim to enter peaceful negotiations, he spoke before South Korea's parliament and listed a litany of alleged human rights abuses against the North Korean leader, calling him a "deranged tyrant" presiding over a "cult". "Though he said just a month ago that President Trump could be leading the U.S." on the path to World War III", Corker told reporters outside the meeting this morning that the hearing was "not in any way" a rebuke of the president.

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