Former Obama foreign policy adviser Ben Rhodes on Wednesday called President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by Boeing — Milley warns of 'Sputnik moment' for China WSJ publishes letter from Trump continuing to allege voter fraud in PA Oath Keeper who was at Capitol on Jan. 6 runs for New Jersey State Assembly MORE's claims to have already modernized the U.S. nuclear arsenal "alarming" amid rising tensions with North Korea.
It's literally impossible for Trump to have changed our nuclear arsenal in 6 months. Alarming thing to lie about. https://t.co/9cizhVLJAU— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) August 9, 2017
Rhodes's comment was in response to a tweet from Trump on Wednesday morning saying his first act as president was to "renovate and modernize our nuclear arsenal," following threats from North Korea to use nuclear weapons on the U.S. territory of Guam.
My first order as President was to renovate and modernize our nuclear arsenal. It is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 9, 2017
The president's tweet was an apparent reference to the ongoing Nuclear Posture Review, a legislatively mandated look at U.S. nuclear capabilities and strategy which Trump began on Jan. 27 with an executive order. The review, which works to shape U.S. nuclear policy, comes as the Department of Defense is preparing to revitalize America's nuclear arsenal.
Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Paul Selva, who is co-leading the review, said on July 18 that "my expectation is it will take several more months to complete the Nuclear Posture Review, and the Ballistic Missile Defense Review will follow it, because the second review is actually informed by many of the strategic choices that will be made in the Nuclear Posture Review."
Rhodes later tweeted saying the White House's "escalation" of the situation with North Korea is "insane" in response to Trump deputy assistant Sebastian GorkaSebastian Lukacs GorkaGreitens Senate bid creates headache for GOP YouTube bans Sebastian Gorka's channel after repeated violations Lou Dobbs retweets supporters blasting decision to cancel show MORE, who compared the situation to the Cuban Missile Crisis under President Kennedy. "Get ready for more of this," he added.
This is insane. Why is the Trump White House insisting that this become a nuclear standoff and an escalating crisis? https://t.co/9dsGYvm9MD— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) August 9, 2017
So we all have to rally around the leader because he decided to threaten North Korea with nuclear destruction. Get ready for more of this. https://t.co/P5STDMVWMy— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) August 9, 2017
Boasting about the size of our nuclear arsenal and sending aides out to demand we rally around the leader is chilling. And it's only month 7— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) August 9, 2017
Rhodes advised former President Obama on the Iran nuclear deal, among other national security issues.