President Donald Trump pushed for a massive, nearly tenfold increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal during a July meeting, stunning high-ranking national security officials, according to a new report.
NBC News reports Trump's comments came after seeing a presentation that showed the United States decreasing its nuclear weapons over the past 50 years.
The president demanded “a bigger stockpile, not the bottom position on that downward-sloping curve,” according to the report.
Top officials in the room were “surprised” by Trump's request, quickly jumping to explain the gravity of what the president was suggesting be done. Officials told NBC News no expansion is currently underway.
The report also shed light on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's “moron” comments aimed at the president. Tillerson was among the top officials stunned by Trump's request for nuclear expansion during the summer meeting, and it was shortly after when the secretary reportedly took the jab at the president's intellect.
Top officials also suggested a July 19 meeting in the White House Situation Room was “so unproductive” that advisers opted to reschedule it for the next day in hopes that the president would be “more focused.”
“It wasn’t just the number of people. It was the idea of focus,” a source told NBC News. ”Maybe we need to slow down a little and explain the whole world."
The report detailing Trump's intention to bolster America's nuclear weapons comes amid growing tensions with North Korea. On Tuesday, the president told top Pentagon officials to prepare “a range of options to respond to any form of North Korean aggression or, if necessary, to prevent North Korea from threatening the U.S. and its allies with nuclear weapons.”
Last week, the president made an ominous statement during a dinner with top military officials, calling the gathering the “calm before the storm.”
The White House has refused to clarify the president's comments, saying the country should take those words seriously.