After saying that the US needed to “strengthen and expand” its nuclear weapons cache, President-elect Donald Trump has gone even further by adding: “Let it be an arms race”.
Trump took to Twitter earlier in the week to say that he believed America must deal with external threats by strengthening and expanding its nuclear capabilities “until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes”.
It is thought that the statement may have been made following similar sentiments from the Russian president Vladimir Putin.
A statement from the White House press team later said that Mr Trump was not advocating the use of nuclear weapons, but wanted to make sure the US had an improved and modernised deterrent capability. The statement said this strategy would “pursue peace through strenth”.
Mr Trump is understood to have made further comments from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, where he is spending Christmas with his family. The incoming president told reporters: “Let it be an arms race. We will outmatch them at every pass. And outlast them all.”
His latest reported comments are in direct contradiction to remarks made by Sean Spicer, Mr Trump’s incoming press secretary, who said that the new president would not allow an arms race because he would not want to encourage other countries to add to their own nuclear weapons cache.
Mr Trump has also taken to Twitter to talk about how political pressure has mean that his son Eric has had to cease raising money for a charitable foundation. He said: “My wonderful son, Eric, will no longer be allowed to raise money for children with cancer, because of a possible conflict of interest with my presidency. Isn’t this a ridiculous shame? He loves these kids, has raised millions of dollars for them, and now must stop. Wrong answer!”