Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said on Tuesday that he's concerned President Donald Trump is “so unstable, so volatile” that he may fire off a nuclear attack that would be “wildly out of step” with U.S. national security interests.
Murphy's comments came during a hearing on Capitol Hill Tuesday over bipartisan anxiety regarding the nuclear launch process procedures, according to reports.
“We are concerned that the president of the United States is so unstable, is so volatile, has a decision-making process that is so quixotic, that he might order a nuclear weapons strike that is wildly out of step with U.S. national security interests,” Murphy said. “So let's just recognize the exceptional nature of this moment and the discussion that we're having today.”
.@ChrisMurphyCT: We are concerned Pres. Trump “is so unstable, is so volatile” that he might order nuclear strike that is ”wildly out of step" with US national security interests. pic.twitter.com/XddU3Bnir6
— ABC News (@ABC) November 14, 2017
During the hearing, members of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee questioned longstanding presidential authority to deploy nuclear weapons. “Many Americans fear that the president's words could turn into nuclear reality,” Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said.
The panel ultimately, however, appeared to side against reining in the president's power to exercise nuclear authority.
“I think hard cases make bad law, and I think if we were to change the decision-making process in some way because of a distrust of this president, I think that would be an unfortunate precedent,” said Brian Mckeon, former principal deputy undersecretary of defense for policy during the Obama administration.
Trump has made it clear numerous times that he will defend the U.S. against attacks, even threatening to “totally destroy North Korea.”
However, Trump's fiery rhetoric has fueled speculation by his critics that his temperament may prove problematic regrading his handling of nuclear weapons.