Dem senator: Trump's remark on nuclear button 'borders on presidential malpractice'

Dem senator: Trump's remark on nuclear button 'borders on presidential malpractice'
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Sen. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyOvernight Defense: Mattis dismisses talk he may be leaving | Polish president floats 'Fort Trump' | Dem bill would ban low-yield nukes Dems introduce bill to ban low-yield nukes Some employees' personal data revealed in State Department email breach: report MORE (D-Mass.) said on Tuesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: I hope voters pay attention to Dem tactics amid Kavanaugh fight South Korea leader: North Korea agrees to take steps toward denuclearization Graham calls handling of Kavanaugh allegations 'a drive-by shooting' MORE's claim that the U.S. nuclear launch button is "much bigger" than North Korea's "borders on presidential malpractice."

"Imagine being a servicemember or the family of a servicemember stationed in Korea and reading this," Markey tweeted. "This borders on presidential malpractice."

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Markey's tweet followed one by Trump, in which the president warned that the U.S. nuclear launch button was "more powerful" than the one North Korean leader Kim Jong Un claimed to have in a New Year's Day speech this week.

In that speech, Kim said that the world would have to accept North Korea as a nuclear-armed state, saying the fact that he had a nuclear launch button on his desk was a "reality," as opposed to a threat.

Trump's tweet appeared to challenge that claim. He also warned that the U.S. launch button actually worked. 

Trump and North Korea have exchanged barbs for much of his first year in office, as Pyongyang stepped up the pace of its intercontinental ballistic missile tests.

The U.S. president has also repeatedly warned that possible military action against North Korea remains on the table if deemed necessary.