President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Wednesday to boast that the U.S. nuclear arsenal is “now far stronger and more powerful than ever before,” thanks to his administration.
“My first order as President was to renovate and modernize our nuclear arsenal,” he wrote.
“Hopefully we will never have to use this power, but there will never be a time that we are not the most powerful nation in the world!” he added in a second tweet.
The tweets come amid North Korea’s escalating nuclear threats and one day after Trump issued a warning Tuesday from his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey, that North Korea “had best not make any more threats to the United States” or “they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”
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
…Hopefully we will never have to use this power, but there will never be a time that we are not the most powerful nation in the world!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 9, 2017
President Trump vows America will respond to North Korean threats with “fire & fury” in a warning to the rogue nation pic.twitter.com/UaE2rPkZ6f
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) August 9, 2017
The president’s comments — given during a briefing on opioid addiction amid his 17-day golf-club vacation — followed reports Tuesday that North Korea may have successfully created a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles.
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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday attempted to quell fears over rising tensions with North Korea, saying: “I think Americans should sleep well at night, have no concerns about this particular rhetoric of the last few days.”
“Nothing I have seen and nothing I know of would indicate that situation has dramatically changed in the last 24 hours,” he added, according to The New York Times.
But it seems Twitter users were anything but reassured as they shared their very real concerns on the matter — while also rolling their proverbial eyes over Trump’s “reckless” threats, the wording for which he apparently borrowed from former President Harry S. Truman.
Does Trump’s statement on North Korea sound familiar? That’s because it’s basically Truman’s. pic.twitter.com/nWS3Vtle6J
— Girls Really Rule. (@girlsreallyrule) August 8, 2017
— Jeffrey Guterman (@JeffreyGuterman) August 9, 2017
On the eve of war, tributes are paid to the Dear Leader’s silver tongue and godlike wisdom.
Wonder what’s happening in North Korea. https://t.co/5qrFXr3qL1
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) August 9, 2017
Several critics, including Star Trek actor George Takei and TIME’s Zeke Miller, called “malarkey” on Trump’s boast that he’s strengthened the U.S.’s nuclear arsenal since taking office, saying that it’s not possible to commission new nuclear weapons in a matter of 200 days.
I call malarkey. You can’t do that in six months. Indeed, it seems you can’t do anything in six months. https://t.co/l0vhQn3itL
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) August 9, 2017
This (a memorandum) was somewhere around his 14th order, counting such memos. He keeps claiming various things were his first act. https://t.co/7OTvqCDWP7
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) August 9, 2017
What?!?!!?! The lead time on new weapons systems is measured in years. And for nuclear ones, sometimes decades. https://t.co/Fw675hBXDM
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) August 9, 2017
North Korea officially has a warhead small enough to fit on a missile. Huh. Being “tired of winning” sure feels a lot like “a stress ulcer.”
— Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) August 9, 2017
Maybe the president might want to use the official @POTUS account when he’s Twitter-threatening another country with nuclear annihilation.
— Glenn Thrush (@GlennThrush) August 9, 2017
On this day in 1945 the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. Let us remember the horror and not repeat this ever again.
— Matthew Dowd (@matthewjdowd) August 9, 2017
This North Korea thing is really scary, but don’t worry — we have our worst people on it.
— Ken Tremendous (@KenTremendous) August 8, 2017
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) August 9, 2017
— Andrea Mitchell (@mitchellreports) August 9, 2017
good morning pic.twitter.com/IyBVSM7Jhv
— Colin Campbell (@colincampbell) August 9, 2017
Day 100: is this what Watergate was like?
Day 201: is this what the Cuban Missile Crisis was like?
— Chris Baugh (@chris_baugh_) August 9, 2017
Cuban Missile Crisis movies made it seem like we’d be home biting our nails with family but we’re all jus kinda joke-drunk online, odd that
— Alana Massey (@AlanaMassey) August 9, 2017
Slow down, think strategy Mr. President. Playing nuclear chicken with North Korea could make the Cuban Missile Crisis look like pinochle.
— john mclaughlin (@jmclaughlinSAIS) August 9, 2017
♫ Fire and fury
Fire and fury
Escalation distracts you
From my grand jury ♫
— joel tyler (@joeltyler_) August 9, 2017
Why are we worried about Trump’s military threats? Bc he’s surrounded by advisors trained in military, not diplomatic solutions to crises.
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) August 9, 2017
Trump’s delivery style is the same when he’s promoting WrestleMania as it is when he’s promoting World War III. pic.twitter.com/Du85c6y1lo
— Angry Scotland (@AngryScotland) August 9, 2017
“Speaking from his golf course …… ” Tight. Let’s start World War III from a golf course.https://t.co/ughI3Egs13
— Mr. Stowe (@mrstowe26) August 9, 2017
Trump’s body language when threatening N Korea was disturbing. Does this fool think nuclear war is like a street fight.
— half blindwillie (@halfblindwillie) August 9, 2017
I’m not one for body language analysis, but man Trump making that statement with arms tightly hugged across his chest is something else.
— Jody Avirgan (@jodyavirgan) August 9, 2017
The Late Show host Stephen Colbert also responded to Trump’s “fire and fury” threats with an ominous warning of his own on his Tuesday show.
“I don’t want to be alarmist,” Colbert joked. “We’re all gonna die.”