Chris Murphy: Trump's threat of war with North Korea must be taken 'seriously'

Chris Murphy: Trump's threat of war with North Korea must be taken 'seriously'
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Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyGOP blocks bill to expand gun background checks after Michigan school shooting Murphy criticizes anti-abortion lawmakers following Michigan school shooting Republicans struggle to save funding for Trump's border wall MORE (D-Conn.) on Monday said President Trump's rhetoric directed at North Korea must be taken "seriously," following remarks made by Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerCheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP How leaving Afghanistan cancels our post-9/11 use of force The unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her  MORE (R-Tenn.) about Trump possibly leading the U.S. on the path toward "World War III."

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"It's time to take Trump seriously as he keeps hinting, over and over, that he wants to go to war with North Korea," Murphy said in a series of tweets, adding that some of the president's other tweets have proven to not always be "just bluster."

Murphy, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said "many" lawmakers have begun to hear "whispers of more serious war talk in and near the White House."

Murphy said Corker may have seriously meant his World War III remark, which he made to The New York Times after getting into a heated exchange with Trump on Twitter.

The Connecticut lawmaker called on both Republicans and Democrats to take swift action and put safeguards in place to prevent the president from initiating a "pre-emptive strike" without congressional approval.

Murphy also listed details about the president's conduct that he views as worrisome, including "surrounding himself with only military men" and dissuading his own Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonHillicon Valley — Blinken unveils new cyber bureau at State Blinken formally announces new State Department cyber bureau Hillicon Valley — TikTok, Snapchat seek to distance themselves from Facebook MORE from engaging in diplomatic talks with Pyongyang.

During his first address to the United Nations General Assembly last month, Trump threatened to "totally destroy North Korea."

Murphy's remarks come amid escalating tensions between Washington and Pyongyang.