House Democrat slams Trump's 'erratic and fiery belligerence' on North Korea

House Democrat slams Trump's 'erratic and fiery belligerence' on North Korea
© Greg Nash

The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee slammed President Trump on Wednesday for the "erratic and fiery belligerence" of his remarks on North Korea.

Trump vowed Tuesday that North Korea would face "fire and fury" if the country continued to threaten the United States.

"The erratic and fiery belligerence of his statements and tweets do little to defuse the situation and threaten to make a bad situation worse," Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffGOP strategist confronts ex-Trump staffer: ‘I’m sick of you guys making excuses for him’ Shepard Smith goes after Trump for not condemning Russia in tweets Trump: Why didn't Obama 'do something about Russian meddling?' MORE (D-Calif.) said of Trump in a statement.


Schiff warned Trump not to interfere in the administration's diplomatic approach to the crisis.

"Secretary [of State Rex] Tillerson is right to emphasize a diplomatic resolution of this growing danger to the world," Schiff said. "While nothing can be taken off the table, the military option would be catastrophic and involve a potentially massive loss of life — American, South Korean, Japanese and North Korean."

"President Trump would be well to keep this in mind. He should let Secretaries Tillerson and Mattis, and UN Ambassador [Nikki] Haley do their jobs without taking actions that hamper their efforts," he added, referring to Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: First Gitmo transfer under Trump could happen 'soon' | White House says Trump has confidence in VA chief | Russia concedes 'dozens' of civilians injured in Syria clash Pentagon: First Gitmo transfer under Trump could happen 'soon' Russia concedes 'dozens' of citizens injured in clash with US forces in Syria MORE.

A State Department spokeswoman said Wednesday the administration is united in its approach to North Korea.

“Whether it’s the White House, the State Department, the Department of Defense, we are speaking with one voice," said State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert.

Schiff went on, saying that while Trump should temper his rhetoric, the U.S. should do "whatever is necessary" to protect itself and its allies.

"There is no question that the threat posed by the North Korean regime is real and growing more dangerous each day, and it is incumbent on the United States to do whatever is necessary to protect the nation and our allies," Schiff said.

Following his comments on North Korea Tuesday, Trump appeared to double down in intensity on Wednesday morning. The president tweeted that he had directed the U.S. nuclear arsenal to be modernized as his "first order" upon taking office.

"My first order as president was to renovate and modernize our nuclear arsenal. It is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before," Trump tweeted.

"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!"