“I don’t think we should be trying to create tactile nuclear weapons.”
U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton couldn’t stop laughing at remarks made by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., during a Wednesday appearance on the “Hugh Hewitt” show.
Seeking Bolton’s thoughts on recent remarks made by Gillibrand at a townhall event in New Hampshire, Hewitt played a clip of the New York Democrat criticizing the Trump administration’s plan to develop better nuclear weapons. But Gillibrand repeatedly referred to the weapons as “tactile” during the clip, causing Bolton to lose it while live on the air.
“When you say you want to develop low-yield nuclear weapons that are tactile, what you’re saying is you want to use them” Gillibrand said. “Now the military will make an argument to say oh, this is just again to make, we have to have an equal threat. And this, if it’s usable, then it’s a better threat. I just found that is not believable. I just, I, they’re trying to create nuclear weapons that are usable. So I opposed the entire Defense bill because of that one provision. So if I am president, I am going to make sure we unwind that completely, and I don’t think we should be trying to create tactile nuclear weapons.”
Hewitt started to ask Bolton for his thoughts but was halted after Bolton erupted into raucous laughter.
“Tactile nuclear weapons?” Bolton mocked.
“Well, I was unfamiliar with the concept, Mr. Ambassador,” Hewitt replied, while Bolton continued to laugh.
“What are you up to?” Hewitt asked.
“I have to say, I was unfamiliar with it as well. I wonder what Senator Gillibrand knows that I don’t,” Bolton said, still laughing.
“Oh, they are very worried,” Hewitt said.
“I’ve been studying this stuff with, since President Nixon was in retirement in San Clemente. First time I’ve heard of tactile nuclear weapons. So what, is something going on at Andrew Marshall’s old office at the Pentagon we don’t know about?” Hewitt added.
“Well, you know, Hugh, as national security advisor, I don’t get involved in politics,” Bolton replied while still giggling about the clip.
“But I’ll just say maybe Senator Gillibrand could give me a call and tell me what she knows about those tactile nuclear weapons. I’d be interested in learning it,” he added, still unable to get his laughter under control.
Gillibrand, who is one of the Democratic contenders for president in 2020, has been critical of the Trump administration’s plan to upgrade U.S. nuclear weapon capabilities. Trump made the decision after threatening to pull out of a Nuclear Treaty with Russia due to the Kremlin’s lack of compliance with the charter.
In February, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the U.S. was suspending the treaty with Russia.