Trump Threatens NBC's TV License After Network Publishes Unfavorable Reports

During the height of the Cold War, the stockpile of nuclear weapons from Russian Federation and the USA was at its peak due to an ongoing arms race.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis responded Wednesday to an NBC report that President Trump wanted to increase the USA nuclear arsenal tenfold.

After the meeting in July, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson referred to Trump as a "moron", according to NBC.

"Fake @NBCNews made up a story that I wanted a "tenfold" increase in our U.S. nuclear arsenal", Trump tweeted before he threatened NBC's right to broadcast. The article said after Trump saw the slide he said he wanted a bigger stockpile of weapons, not the bottom position on the downward-sloping curve.

The July 20 meeting came a day after another one that left national security officials stunned.

In recent weeks, Trump has repeatedly threatened to strike North Korea with a nuclear weapon.

Some officials present said they did not take Trump's desire for more nuclear weapons to be literally instructing the military to increase the actual numbers.

Trump's reported interest in massively increasing America's nuclear arsenal also drew widespread criticism, despite his denials. U.S. news reports have painted the relationship between Mr Trump and Mr Tillerson as tense.

Mr. Trump made the comment during an interview with Forbes magazine while responding to unverified claims that the Secretary of State had called the president a "moron".

Shortly after winning the election, Trump tweeted that America "must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes".

Earlier on Wednesday, Trump tweeted other jabs at NBC. Nonproliferation experts warned that such a move could set off a global arms race. "We will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all".

  • Joey Payne