Mattis: Report that Trump Wanted Tenfold Nuclear Increase 'Absolutely False' and 'Irresponsible'

Lauretta  Brown
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Posted: Oct 11, 2017 3:45 PM
Mattis: Report that Trump Wanted Tenfold Nuclear Increase 'Absolutely False' and 'Irresponsible'

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

"Recent reports that the President called for an increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal are absolutely false," Mattis said without naming NBC. "This kind of erroneous reporting is irresponsible."

President Trump conveyed his annoyance at the report in remarks to reporters after meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in D.C.

“It’s frankly disgusting, the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write,” Trump said.

“The press should speak more honestly,” he continued. “They make up the sources. There are no sources.”

Trump again called the report "fake news" and added that such an increase in the nuclear arsenal was "totally unnecessary." He said he simply wants the arsenal to be in "tip-top shape" and "perfect shape."

"General Mattis put out a statement, or is putting out a statement, saying that was fake news, that it was just mentioned that way," he said.

Trump also addressed NBC more directly on Twitter earlier Wednesday, tweeting that their report was “pure fiction.” He then alarmed many in the media by asking “at what point” it was appropriate to “challenge their License.”