Former Joint Chiefs chairman: Use of nuclear weapons 'more probable than it used to be'

Retired Adm. Mike Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Sunday that he believes it’s “more probable than it used to be” that the world will see the use of nuclear weapons in the near future.

“I think it’s more probable than it used to be, and it scares me to death, quite frankly,” Mullen said on ABC’s “This Week.”

“They’re the most dangerous weapons in the world. And, certainly if we have someone in North Korea that has a lethal legacy, is very, very unpredictable and sees this as a way to solidify his future, that he could well not just obtain them, but potentially use them,” he added.

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The debate over nuclear authority has been renewed in recent months after President TrumpDonald John TrumpOvernight Health Care: US hits 10,000 coronavirus deaths | Trump touts 'friendly' talk with Biden on response | Trump dismisses report on hospital shortages as 'just wrong' | Cuomo sees possible signs of curve flattening in NY We need to be 'One America,' the polling says — and the politicians should listen Barr tells prosecutors to consider coronavirus risk when determining bail: report MORE warned in August that North Korea could face “fire and fury like the world has never seen” if it continues to advance its nuclear program.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing earlier this month on the president’s authority to use nuclear weapons. 

Democratic representatives have also introduced legislation seeking to limit Trump’s authority to launch a preemptive strike.

Mullen said Sunday that military officers wouldn't follow an illegal order to launch nuclear weapons, but added that the president is in a position to give a legal order.