President Trump took a moment out of his busy schedule meeting with other world leaders at the G7 summit to deny a story Axios published Sunday. The report in question claimed that Trump asked several senior national security and Homeland security officials why they can’t just drop nuclear bombs down the eyes of hurricanes before they reach the United States.
“The story by Axios that President Trump wanted to blow up large hurricanes with nuclear weapons prior to reaching shore is ridiculous,” the president tweeted, referring to himself in the third person. “I never said this. Just more FAKE NEWS!”
Axios reporter Jonathan Swan responded to Trump’s denial by tweeting that he stands by “every word in the story.”
I stand by every word in the story. He said this in at least two meetings during the first year and a bit of the presidency, and one of the conversations was memorialized. https://t.co/5qs8o1k4QS
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) August 26, 2019
According to Axios, Trump asked about the prospect of nuking hurricanes during a briefing.
“I got it. I got it. Why don’t we nuke them?” the president reportedly said, according to a source who attended the briefing. The source added, paraphrasing Trump’s comments: “They start forming off the coast of Africa, as they’re moving across the Atlantic, we drop a bomb inside the eye of the hurricane and it disrupts it. Why can’t we do that?”
The person leading the briefing reportedly pacified the president by responding with some version of “Sir, we’ll look into that.” Later, Trump reportedly repeated his nuke the hurricane proposal, eliciting the following reaction:
The briefer “was knocked back on his heels,” the source in the room added. “You could hear a gnat fart in that meeting. People were astonished. After the meeting ended, we thought, ‘What the fuck? What do we do with this?'”
A second incident of Trump proposing to bomb hurricanes was, according to Axios, recorded in a 2017 NSC memo. The memo didn’t specify whether the bomb was nuclear nor did it mention which Jerry Bruckheimer movie from which the president stole this idea. The source specified that the memo recorded “multiple topics, not just hurricanes. … It wasn’t that somebody was so terrified of the bombing idea that they wrote it down. They just captured the president’s comments.”
As if to illustrate just how absurd a curve the this president is graded on, one senior White House official defended the president’s bomb the hurricanes proposal.
“His goal — to keep a catastrophic hurricane from hitting the mainland — is not bad,” the official told Axios. “His objective is not bad. What people near the president do is they say ‘I love a president who asks questions like that, who’s willing to ask tough questions.’ … It takes strong people to respond to him in the right way when stuff like this comes up. For me, alarm bells weren’t going off when I heard about it, but I did think somebody is going to use this to feed into ‘the president is crazy’ narrative.”
We can’t imagine where anyone would get the idea that the president is crazy.