Joe Scarborough Claims Trump Asked Advisor Why US Can’t Use Nukes (VIDEO)

MSNBC host Joe Scarborough reported on the air Wednesday morning that when Donald Trump met for a briefing with an unnamed foreign policy expert, the GOP nominee allegedly asked, “Why can’t we use nuclear weapons?” several times.

Scarborough made the claim during an interview with retired Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden, who expressed concern about how Trump would be an “erratic” and “inconsistent” commander-in-chief.

When Hayden curtly said he’s not aware a single one of his colleagues advising Trump on foreign policy, Scarborough spoke up.

“I have to follow up with that, but I’ll be very careful here. Several months ago, a foreign policy expert on the international level went to advise Donald Trump, and three times he asked about the use of nuclear weapons. Three times he asked, at one point, ‘If we have them, why can’t we use them?” Scarborough said.

“Trump asked three times?” commentator Mike Barnicle asked.

“Three times in an hour briefing, ‘Why can’t we use nuclear weapons?’” Scarborough said again.

Several beats of stunned silence went by before co-host Mika Brzezinski said, “Be careful, America and be careful, Republican leaders. Your party is blowing up.”

Scarborough turned the conversation back to Hayden, asking the retired general about the timeline and steps if a President chooses to use nuclear weapons. Hayden responded the system in place is “designed for speed and decisiveness. It’s not designed to debate the decision.”

The “Morning Joe” host, a former GOP congressman, did not name the “foreign policy expert” he said met with Trump. Scarborough also did not say how he knew about the briefing or Trump’s remarks.

In an interview with Fox News later on Wednesday, Manafort said it was “absolutely not true” that security briefing meetings have been held.

“The idea that he’s looking at trying to understand where to use nuclear weapons, it just didn’t happen,” he said. “I was in the meeting. It didn’t happen.”

Trump has said he would “never, ever” rule out using nuclear weapons to fight the Islamic State as President. In a March interview, after MSNBC’s Chris Matthews said nobody wants to hear a candidate for President talking about the use of nuclear weapons, Trump fired back: “Then why are we making them?”

Watch the exchange via MSNBC:

This post has been updated.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Livewire
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: