U.S. nuclear general says he’d refuse any ‘illegal’ strike order from Trump
Air Force Gen. John Hyten, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, told an audience at a security forum in Nova Scotia on Saturday that he would resist any nuclear launch request made by President Donald Trump that was deemed to be unlawful, according to CBS News.
Hyten, who presides over the U.S. nuclear arsenal, said he’d given a lot of consideration to what he’d say if Trump were to order a nuclear strike, the report said.
“We’re not stupid people. We think about these things a lot. When you have this responsibility, how do you not think about it?” Hyten said when asked what he would do in that situation.
He continued: “I provide advice to the president, he will tell me what to do. And if it’s illegal, guess what’s going to happen? I’m going to say, ‘Mr. President, that’s illegal.’ And guess what he’s going to do? He’s going to say, ‘What would be legal?’ And we’ll come up with options, with a mix of capabilities to respond to whatever the situation is, and that’s the way it works. It’s not that complicated.”
Hyten’s response comes amid growing concern among senators questioning whether Trump could to launch an unprovoked nuclear attack, as tensions rise over North Korea’s own nuclear ambitions and missile program. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee earlier this week examined possible scenarios and assessed the president’s sole authority to give launch orders.
Trump has exchanged insults and threats with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un in the past with the president once promising “fire and fury” against Pyongyang if nuclear threats escalated further.
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