Donald Trump has shocked the nation with his flagrant disregard for national security. While hosting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at his Florida resort, he held national security strategy sessions and received confidential security briefings while an army officer carried the ‚Äúnuclear football‚ÄĚ 1 around in plain sight and earshot of paying club members.
This behavior is not rational or safe. Trump could start a nuclear war today. And frankly, he might. Right now, Trump has unrestricted power to launch thousands of nuclear weapons at will. Fortunately, Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Ted Lieu have now introduced legislation ‚Äď the Restricting the First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act ‚Äď that would limit Trump‚Äôs ability to launch nuclear weapons without an act of Congress.2 We need to let Congress know with a massive showing of public support that we are counting on them to support this legislation before it‚Äôs too late.
The Restricting the First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act would require a congressional declaration of war in order to use nuclear weapons, except in response to an incoming nuclear attack, effectively blocking Trump from starting a nuclear war on a whim or because someone hurts his feelings on Twitter.
Under the current system, the president has unchecked authority to use the thousands of nuclear weapons at his command - a process that takes less than five minutes. Trump has already expressed his dangerous views on the use of nuclear weapons, including a complete lack of understanding of the nuclear triad, casual threats regarding using nuclear weapons on the battlefield or to combat terrorists and a desire to be ‚Äúunpredictable‚ÄĚ in his use of nuclear weapons.3
Trump‚Äôs first few weeks in office have been a series of horrifying demonstrations of this administration‚Äôs recklessness and incompetence. Just this week he publicly handled classified information about North Korea‚Äôs missile launch at his Mar-a-Largo hotel, 4 and his top national security adviser resigned in disgrace after lying about his contact with the Russian government.5
We cannot trust Trump to make rational or informed decisions about the safety of our country and the world. That‚Äôs why we‚Äôre joining with our friends at Win Without War, Daily Kos and other progressive allies to tell Congress that they must keep us safe by supporting the Restricting the First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act.
Trump and his dangerous cronies in the White House cannot stop himself from making bad decisions. We must pressure Congress now to take away the blank check to stop him from making the biggest one. It is time to take the ‚Äúnuclear football‚ÄĚ away from Trump. Click the link below to sign the petition:
Thank you for everything that you do,
Tessa Levine, Campaign Manager
Add your name:
1. Kathleen Parker, ‚Äú,‚ÄĚ The Washington Post, Feb. 14, 2017.
2. Emily Tamkin, ‚Äú,‚ÄĚ Foreign Policy, Jan. 24, 2017.
4. Michael D. Shear and Maggie Haberman, ‚Äú,‚ÄĚ The New York Times, Feb. 13, 2017.
5. Maggie Haberman, Matthew Rosenberg, Matt Apuzzo, and Glenn Thrush, ‚Äú,‚ÄĚ The New York Times, Feb. 13, 2017.