Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images
President Donald Trump smiles as Defense Secretary James Mattis (C) looks on during a meeting with senior military leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House on October 5, 2017.
President Donald Trump wanted to increase the U.S. nuclear arsenal by nearly 10 times, NBC News reported on Wednesday.
The president brought up his desire for a buildup during a meeting with top national security advisors in July, according to the network, which cited three officials at the gathering. Advisors told Trump about treaties that would be endangered and other hurdles preventing such a move. There is no planned expansion of nuclear weapons, NBC reported.
After the meeting ended, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was heard calling Trump a “moron.” That comment reportedly sparked more tensions between Tillerson and Trump following an NBC News report last week. Tillerson denied the piece of the report that said he was close to resigning this summer, but did not refute calling the president a “moron.”
The report on the July meeting comes as the U.S. pushes for the denuclearization of North Korea.
In a Wednesday morning tweet, the president claimed “fake” NBC “made up” the story. He called it “pure fiction, made up to demean.”
In a second tweet, he suggested that the NBC coverage is “bad” for the country. He asked: “At what point is it appropriate to challenge their License?”
Trump: With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!
Trump has made public statements before about boosting the U.S. nuclear arsenal. In December, he tweeted, that the “United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.”
The White House and Pentagon could not immediately be reached for comment.
Read the full NBC News story here.
Disclosure: NBC and CNBC are owned by NBCUniversal, a division of Comcast.