Official on Trump's hurricane nuking idea: 'His objective is not bad'

A senior Trump administration official told Axios that the president's suggestion to drop nuclear bombs into hurricanes to stop them from hitting the United States was well-intentioned.

"His goal — to keep a catastrophic hurricane from hitting the mainland — is not bad," the official, who had been briefed on the suggestion, told the outlet. "His objective is not bad."

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"What people near the president do is they say 'I love a president who asks questions like that, who’s willing to ask tough questions,'" the official said. "It takes strong people to respond to him in the right way when stuff like this comes up. For me, alarm bells weren't going off when I heard about it, but I did think somebody is going to use this to feed into 'the president is crazy' narrative."

Axios reported Sunday that Trump had floated the unconventional strategy in meetings with Homeland Security and national security officials.

"I got it. I got it. Why don't we nuke them?" Trump reportedly said at a White House briefing on hurricanes.

"They start forming off the coast of Africa, as they're moving across the Atlantic, we drop a bomb inside the eye of the hurricane and it disrupts it. Why can't we do that?" a source recounted to the outlet, paraphrasing Trump's words.

The Hill has reached out to the White House regarding the reported suggestion.

The idea of using nuclear weapons to disrupt hurricanes has been floated before and is addressed in a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration fact sheet about tropical cyclones.

"Apart from the fact that this might not even alter the storm, this approach neglects the problem that the released radioactive fallout would fairly quickly move with the tradewinds to affect land areas and cause devastating environmental problems," the sheet reads.

"Needless to say, this is not a good idea," it adds.