The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 22, 2016
His team pushes back.
Trump suggests he meant what he said.
CO-HOST JOE SCARBOROUGH: The president-elect told you what?BRZEZINSKI: "Let it be an arms race. We will outmatch them at every pass."SCARBOROUGH: "And outlast them all."BRZEZINSKI: "And outlast them all."SCARBOROUGH: OK. You can put that down as breaking news.
The transition team assures us he didn't mean what he said.
LAUER: "Expand." Explain it.SPICER: Well, the tweet continues -- unless other countries come to their senses." And I think the point that he's making is we're not going to sit back as a country and allow other countries to expand their nuclear capability with the U.S. just sitting idly by. This president is going to take action; he's going to make sure that American interests are protected.
LAUER: This president then is going to reverse 40 years of policy in this country where presidents since Ronald Reagan pledged to reduce the number of nuclear weapons and warheads we had.SPICER: Right, but we're not going to sit back, Matt, and let other nations threaten our safety. If another country wants to expand their nuclear capability, the U.S. is not going to sit back and idly by. But just to be clear: The president isn't saying we're going to do this. He said unless they come to their senses. It's a warning to them that this president's going to take action.
SPICER: Other countries need to be put on notice that he's not going to sit back and allow them to undermine our safety, our sovereignty. He is going to match other countries and take action.LAUER: Was this a knee-jerk reaction, a shoot-from-the-hip reaction to Vladimir Putin yesterday saying that he plans to fortify the Russian nuclear arsenal?SPICER: There's been several countries, Russia among them, that have talked about expanding their nuclear capability. The point that he was making was very clear: Other countries that want to threaten U.S. safety, are not going to sit back and allow this country to not act.LAUER: But if there's going to be an arms race ...SPICER: There's not going to be! Because he's going to ensure that other countries get the message that he's not going to sit back and allow that. And what's going to happen is, they will come to their senses and we will all be just fine.