NBC early Wednesday reported Trump queried USA military officials over the possibility of increasing the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile by tenfold during a summer meeting.
US President Donald Trump on Wednesday denied a report from NBC News that he told his national security advisers in July he wanted to increase the country's nuclear arsenal by almost tenfold, saying he argued for its modernisation.
"Right now we have so many nuclear weapons".
"Recent reports that the president called for an increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal are absolutely false. Trump indicated he wanted a bigger stockpile, not the bottom position on that downward-sloping curve".
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According to the network, Mr Trump had been shown a slide that showed the steady reduction of United States nukes since the late sixties, in line with post-cold war treaties.
On Wednesday afternoon, NBC's Peter Alexander reported that on the matter of the First Amendment, Trump said: "It is frankly disgusting the press is able to write whatever it wants to write".
It was the second time in a week that NBC had referenced the July meeting.
According to NBC, Trump's comments surprised officials - including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was overheard calling Trump a "moron" shortly after the meeting adjourned.
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The July 20 meeting was described as a lengthy and sometimes tense review of worldwide USA forces and operations.
If implemented, Trump's proposal would "make Americans less safe, could cause another nuclear arms race, and would inflame tensions with North Korea and other countries", Martin concluded.
- John Schindler (@20committee) October 11, 2017Now we know why Tillerson called Trump a moron.
He followed up nearly immediately with his veiled threat to strip NBC of their licence.
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Trump's reported interest in massively increasing America's nuclear arsenal also drew widespread criticism, despite his denials.