The Constitution puts ‘great power’ in the hands of the president
[by Francesca Chambers, Daily Mail, Aug. 3, 2016]
Donald Trump could put the world on the pathway to nuclear annihilation if he becomes president, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough warned this morning.
“Several months ago, a foreign policy expert on an international level went to advise Donald Trump and three times he asked about the use of nuclear weapons,” Scarborough said Wednesday on the Morning Joe program.
The revelation came during a discussion with retired four-star General Michael Hayden, a former director of the CIA and the NSA, about checks on the president’s power to launch a nuclear strike.
Scarborough asked Hayden what safeguards there are to stop “any president who may not be stable from launching a nuclear act.”
Hayden explained that the Constitution puts “great power” in the hands of the president and commander-in-chief. The armed forces “give a great deal of deference to their civilian leader.”
Scarborough asked him if there is anyone or anything to prevent “a president who is unfit to be commander in chief” from launching nuclear weapons against a country that has angered him.
“That chain of command was built for speed and decisiveness,” Hayden told him.
Co-host Mika Brzezinski said, “Be careful America, and be careful Republican leaders, your party is blowing up.”
That’s why retired four-star Gen. John Allen, who endorsed Hillary Clinton and spoke out against Trump at the Democratic National Convention, said there could be a “crisis in civil-military relationships” if Trump is elected, Hayden added.
Scarborough asked Hayden about the time frame between the decision to send nuclear weapons and when they are launched.
“It’s scenario dependent,” Hayden said. “The system is not designed to debate the decision.”
Hayden said he’s concerned about “how erratic” Trump is. “He’s inconsistent, and when you’re the head of a global superpower, inconsistency, unpredictability, those are dangerous things.”