President Donald Trump has described as “ridiculous” a report that he discussed using nuclear weapons to alter the course of hurricanes.
Trump, who just returned from meeting with world leaders at the G-7 in France, took to Twitter to swipe at an Axios report that he had raised the idea with senior Homeland Security and national security officials of using nuclear weapons to stop hurricanes.
“The story by Axios that President Trump wanted to blow up large hurricanes with nuclear weapons prior to reaching shore is ridiculous. I never said this,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Just more FAKE NEWS!”
Just returned to Washington from France and the very successful G-7, only to find that the Fake News is still trying to perpetuate the phony story that I wanted to use Nuclear weapons to blow up hurricanes before they reach shore. This is so ridiculous, never happened!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 27, 2019
The Axios report, citing unnamed sources, said Trump asked participants at a White House briefing on hurricanes, “Why don’t we nuke them?” The source recalls officials telling the president that they would look into it.
The Trump administration was widely applauded for its handling of Hurricane Harvey, a Category 4 storm that smashed ashore in Texas and Louisiana in 2017. But Trump has faced lingering criticism for the administration’s response to Hurricane Maria, a Category 5 that decimated Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands the same year.
The report comes as forecasters are currently monitoring Tropical Storm Dorian, which is gathering strength and could become the first Atlantic’s first hurricane of this year’s season. The National Hurricane Center said additional watches and warnings probably would be issued Monday as the storm approaches the Windward and Leeward islands, which include Dominica and Martinique.