Corker says nuclear hearing isn't a Trump rebuke

Corker says nuclear hearing isn't a Trump rebuke

Corker says nuclear hearing isn't a Trump rebuke

"If we were to change the decision-making process because of a distrust of this president, that would be an unfortunate decision for the next president", said Brian McKeon, who served as acting undersecretary for policy at the Defense Department during the Obama administration.

"Let's just recognise the exceptional nature of this moment".

"We will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea" if the USA is forced to defend itself, he said in a speech to the United Nations in September.

Experts say Trump has unchecked authority to launch a conventional or nuclear attack on North Korea.

The topic on the U.S. president's authority to launch a nuclear missile has not been discussed in almost four decades since a four-day hearing.

He added that Tuesday's hearing will be one in a series the Senate committee plans to hold on the authority to declare war and to launch nuclear weapons.

During a Senate hearing reviewing the powers of the president to order a nuclear strike, Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) made clear what many Americans are thinking.

The committee is holding a hearing at 10 a.m. Tuesday on the president's ability to authorize nuclear weapons.

Markey said during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing Tuesday that he anxious that President Trump could order a nuclear first strike and plunge the country into a devastating war.

"It has implications for the deterrent, it has implications for the extended deterrent, .it has implications for our own military men and women", said retired Gen. Robert Kehler, the commander of U.S. Strategic Command from 2011 to 2013.


Kehler said that if as STRATCOM chief he had received such an order and not been able to determine whether it was legal, "I would have said, "I'm not ready to proceed".

When the military wakes the president, there is a significant possibility of an imminent strike and the president must quickly decide whether or not to deploy a nuclear counterstrike.

The Democrats have already drafted a bill that calls for the president to obtain a declaration of war from Congress before he or she can first launch a nuclear strike.

The witnesses described teams of legal advisors working for the Commander of Strategic Command General John Hyten and in the office of the Secretary of Defense James Mattis who would advise the chain of command on the legality of a hypothetical order to use nuclear weapons.

This is the first time in 41 years the committee is looking specifically at nuclear weapons use. "I think they can still realize that Donald Trump can launch nuclear codes just as easily as he can use his Twitter account".

"He would require lots of people cooperating with him to make the strike happen", McKeon said.

Acknowledging that the president has the sole authority to give the order to launch a nuclear strike "whether we are responding to a nuclear attack or not", Corker said he hoped the hearing would allow his committee "to explore the realities of this system". "That is frightening. And as the chairman pointed out, based on my understanding of the nuclear command and control protocols, there are no checks - no checks - on the president's authority".

But he is not legally obligated to consult with anyone.

Pressed by reporters on Monday, Mattis refused to comment on whether he would be excluded from the chain of command when it comes to launching a nuclear strike. "But I believe that congressional oversight does not equate to operational control". Asked whether he was comfortable with the system in its current form, he curtly answered "Yes, I am".

"I think that we have to keep trust, keep faith in the system that we have that has proven effective now for decades", he said.

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