Since long before he was elected, President Donald Trump has made it clear that he believes in the strength of the American military.
Since his election, he has surrounded himself with well-respected military veterans such as Gen. James Mattis and Gen. John Kelly.
Trump has also spoken on a number of occasions about the capabilities of the American nuclear arsenal:
My first order as President was to renovate and modernize our nuclear arsenal. It is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before....
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 9, 2017
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
During a Thursday briefing, however, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly made a surprising revelation — while Trump will continue to make sure that America is safe through the upkeep of our current nuclear capabilities, he dreams of the day that it isn't necessary for him to do so:
"I'll tell you this in spite of what someone reported the other day about the president and I don't think he'd mind my sharing this, what he said to me many, many times and to the group oftentimes, I hear him most say about nuclear weapons that wouldn't it be great if we could get rid of them all as opposed to needing 10 times more?
Even more than when he references the maintenance of nuclear weapons and modernization, that doesn't mean increase in numbers. I hear him say more — talk more about wouldn't it be great, how could we get rid of nuclear weapons."
The story Kelly referenced came from NBC News — and Trump took them to task over that in his own way:
Fake @NBCNews made up a story that I wanted a “tenfold” increase in our U.S. nuclear arsenal. Pure fiction, made up to demean. NBC = CNN!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 11, 2017