Corker Will Hold Hearing On Trump’s Authority To Use Nuclear Weapons

Alex Edelman/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) wasn’t being hyperbolic when he said he feared President Trump was leading the U.S. “on the path to World War III,” a remark that escalated tensions between the retiring senator and the President.

On Wednesday, Corker announced that there would be a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Nov. 14 to review Trump’s authority to use nuclear weapons. Corker chairs the committee.

A number of members both on and off our committee have raised questions about the authorities of the legislative and executive branches with respect to war making, the use of nuclear weapons, and conducting foreign policy overall,” Corker said in a statement Wednesday. “This continues a series of hearings to examine those issues and will be the first time since 1976 that this committee or our House counterparts have looked specifically at the authority and process for using U.S. nuclear weapons. This discussion is long overdue, and we look forward to examining this critical issue.”

The scheduled hearing continues the conflict between Corker and Trump, whose White House Corker equated to an “adult day care” and a “reality show.” The two began publicly criticizing each other after Corker attacked Trump’s “stability” and “competence” in response to the deadly attack at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in August.

The news comes just after Trump made a toned-down, albeit combative, speech about North Korea while in Seoul this week, threatening North Korea to not “try us” and calling on the country to abandon its nuclear ambitions.

The military and foreign relations professionals set to testify on Tuesday include retired Gen. C. Robert Kehler, Duke University professor and the former director of President George W. Bush’s Defense Policy and Arms Control at the National Security Council Peter Feaver and a former Department of Defense official for President Barack Obama, Brian McKeon.

At least two of the three have been vocal critics of Trump’s rhetoric on foreign relations, CNBC reported. 

The White House did not immediately respond to TPM’s requests for comment.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.
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