President Trump suggested multiple times that national security officials look into using nuclear bombs to stop hurricanes from hitting the United States, according to a report from Axios published Sunday night.
“I got it. I got it. Why don’t we nuke them?” Trump reportedly said at an unspecified hurricane briefing at the White House, Axios reported, citing sources who attended the meetings and were briefed on a National Security Council memo that recorded his comments. It was not clear when the comments were allegedly made.
“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?” Trump reportedly asked.
The official reportedly reacted to Trump’s comments by saying, “Sir, we’ll look into that.” However, the official who was giving the briefing was “knocked back on his heels” by the request, according to Axios’s source, who said that “people were astonished.”
“After the meeting ended, we thought, ‘What the [expletive]? What do we do with this?’” the person told Axios.
Trump also floated the idea in 2017, but was never taken seriously, according to Axios.
“We don’t comment on private discussions that the president may or may not have had with his national security team,” a senior White House official told Axios.
Trump denied the report on Monday, tweeting, “I never said this.”
The story by Axios that President Trump wanted to blow up large hurricanes with nuclear weapons prior to reaching shore is ridiculous. I never said this. Just more FAKE NEWS!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 26, 2019
The United States and surrounding areas have seen several deadly and destructive hurricanes make landfall since Trump took office, including Hurricane Harvey in August 2017, Hurricane Irma in September 2017, Hurricane Maria in September 2017, Hurricane Florence in September 2018, and Hurricane Michael in October 2018.