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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Trump says US has ‘incredible’ nuclear weapons; denies reports of leaking classified info on them

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Trump denied having talked about classified information about US nuclear weapons.

By: PTI | Washington | Updated: September 11, 2020 5:08:03 pm
Trump gives blessing to deal to allow TikTok to continue to operate in USUS President Donald Trump said he supports a deal that will allow TikTok to continue to operate in the United States, after threatening to ban the Chinese-owned app in August.(AP Photo/File)

President Donald Trump has said the US has some “incredible” nuclear weapon systems that nobody knows about but refuted allegations of leaking classified information about them to a renowned investigative journalist in his upcoming book.

Penned by American journalist Bob Woodward, the book ‘Rage’ to be launched on September 15 has stirred several controversies around Trump’s presidency, weeks before the US election to be held on November 3.

According to the excerpts of the book released by The Washington Post, Trump during an interview with Woodward said, “I have built a nuclear — a weapons system that nobody’s ever had in this country before. We have stuff that you haven’t even seen or heard about. We have stuff that (Russian President Vladimir) Putin and (Chinese President) Xi Jinping have never heard about before. There’s nobody — what we have is incredible.”

“Woodward writes that anonymous people later confirmed that the US military had a secret new weapons system, but they would not provide details, and that the people were surprised Trump had disclosed it,” The Washington Post said.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Trump denied having talked about classified information about US nuclear weapons.

“We have great weaponry. No, I’m not talking about classified (information). I’m talking about what we build. We’re building great weaponry,” the president said when asked if he shared classified information about a nuclear weapons system with Woodward.

“What were you talking about when you talked about that?” Trump was asked.

“Our military is stronger now than it’s ever been. We spent USD 2.5 trillion on our military over the last three-and-a-half years. We now have new rockets and missiles. And, frankly, our nuclear — we have to hope to God we never have to use it — but our nuclear now is in the best shape it’s been in decades,” he asserted.

Trump told reporters the US has some nuclear systems that nobody knows about.

“And, frankly, I think I’m better off keeping it that way. We have some incredible systems,” he said.

James Acton, co-director of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s nuclear policy programme, tweeted that Trump might have been mentioning about a 2017 announcement of a plan to reduce the explosive power of some nuclear warheads on submarine-launched missiles.

“The timing was kept secret. My guess is that Trump told Woodward about the first deployment before it was made public. This weapon is usually called the low-yield D5 (because the missile is the Trident D5 sea-launched ballistic missiles). The warhead is the W76-2,” he tweeted on Thursday.

“I don’t believe that the US could build an actually new nuclear weapon in secret. Too much money for classified budgets. Too many people involved for it not to leak,? Acton said in another tweet.

Also read | Donald Trump admits downplaying threat of coronavirus

Meanwhile, addressing a public rally in Michigan on Thursday, Trump asserted that he did not leak any information and asserted that he just wanted to inform the people that the US has the greatest weaponry in the world.

“I said, we have systems and missiles and rockets and military ? we have systems that you’ve never even seen before. (Chinese) President Xi (Jinping) has nothing like it. Russian President (Vladimir) Putin has nothing like it.

“They (the media) said he may be giving away classified information. These people are sick. Never speak well about our technology…I just want to let people know we have the greatest systems, the greatest equipment and the greatest people anywhere in the world. There is nobody like the US military,” Trump told the crowd.

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