Incoming White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer is already hard at work cleaning up Donald Trump’s nuclear-tweet mess less than 24 hours after landing the gig.
Friday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Spicer allegedly handed a phone to co-host Mika Brzezinski for an off-air conversation. Brzezinski said that Trump told her, “Let it be an arms race, we will outmatch them at every pass. And outlast them all.”
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) December 23, 2016
Spicer immediately went into damage control mode. He appeared on both NBC’s “Today” and CNN’s “New Day” to clarify Trump’s comments. However, when Alisyn Camerota asked him about the conversation with Brzezinski, Spicer took a toned-down approach.
“That was a private conversation. I was not privy to that,” Spicer said.
All the nuclear talk started on Thursday when Trump sent the following tweet:
The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 22, 2016
While appearing on “Today” show, attempted to re-frame the “arms race” comment reported on “Morning Joe.”
“Other countries need to be put on notice that he is not going to sit back and allow them to undermine our safety, our sovereignty,” Spicer told Matt Lauer. “He is going to match other countries and take action.”
When Lauer pressed further, Spicer insisted “there is not going to be” an arms race.
“But there’s not going to be because he is going to ensure other countries get the message he is not going to sit back and allow that,” Spicer said. “What’s going to happen is they will all come to their senses and we will all be just fine.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin recently said his country needs to “enhance the combat capability of strategic nuclear forces, primarily by strengthening missile complexes that will be guaranteed to penetrate existing and future missile defense systems.”
Between the United State and Russia, the countries combine for more than 14,000 nuclear warheads, according to CNN. An actual arms race would reverse decades of anti-nuclear policy.
On Thursday, Trump selected the former Republican National Committee communications director to be his press secretary and assistant to the president. Rough first day…
Watch the video above and check out Twitter reaction below:
A new nuclear arms race was announced on a television show hosted by people in pajamas. https://t.co/AM4goSith6
— Scott Bixby (@scottbix) December 23, 2016
A fitting end to 2016/the world: we learn of Donald Trump's nuclear arms race from a couple of cable talk show hosts in their pajamas. https://t.co/Q2iuLaO0A4
— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) December 23, 2016
Trump: "let it be an arms race" pic.twitter.com/CLklx4q5m9
— Katy Tur (@KatyTurNBC) December 23, 2016
We are entering a nuclear arms race but good job media on emails! https://t.co/qxvdhv2xH8
— Neera Tanden (@neeratanden) December 23, 2016
Donald Trump has already launched a nuclear arms race and he's not even in office yet. Process that, #MAGA folks with children.
— Peter Daou (@peterdaou) December 23, 2016
Things not to say as PEOTUS #894: "Let it be an arms race."
The incompetence of this man continues to reach unfathomable levels.
— Julia Fortney (@JuliaFortney) December 23, 2016
The arms race isn't what you think. Trump and Putin are working together.
We've gone from a cold war to collaborating warmongers.
— Nick Jack Pappas (@Pappiness) December 23, 2016
— Jan C Malandra (@jmal1039) December 23, 2016
“Let it be an arms race” is one of the dumbest & most frightening statements ever uttered by any President ever. Trump himself is a crisis.
— Touré (@Toure) December 23, 2016
— Jon Hutson (@JonHutson) December 23, 2016