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Trump asked if China had 'hurricane guns' which could harm the US, ex-aides say
11 May 2022, 13:36 | Updated: 11 May 2022, 14:18
Former President Donald Trump repeatedly asked officials if China was able to create hurricanes and send them to the US.
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Senior aides told Rolling Stone on Tuesday that Trump enquired whether use of a "hurricane gun" would constitute an act of war and suggested "nuking hurricanes" as damage prevention method.
One source told the media outlet: "It was almost too stupid for words. I did not get the sense he was joking at all."
Another source, who was allegedly present when Trump enquired about China's ability to make hurricanes, said he wanted to know if such technology could exist, adding: "One guy in the room responded, 'Not to the best of my knowledge, sir'.
"I kept it together until I got back to my office… I do not know where the president would have heard about that."
The latest claims come after Axios reported in 2019 that during one hurricane briefing at the White House, Trump said: "I got it. I got it. Why don't we nuke them?
"They start forming off the coast of Africa, as they're moving across the Atlantic, we drop a bomb inside the eye of the hurricane and it disrupts it. Why can't we do that?" the source added, paraphrasing the president's remarks.
The source recalled officials replied: "Sir, we'll look into that."
Trump at the time called the Axios story "ridiculous fake news" with a senior administration official stating: "We don't comment on private discussions that the president may or may not have had with his national security team."
But his former press secretary Stephanie Grisham said: "Stuff like that was not unusual for him.
"He would blurt out crazy things all the time, and tell aides to look into it or do something about it.
"His staff would say they’d look into it, knowing that more often than not, he’d forget about it quickly – much like a toddler."
His strange enquiries came after National Oceanic and Atmospheric published a fact sheet debunking the myth that a nuclear strike would alter the course of a cyclone.
The page states: "Apart from the fact that this might not even alter the storm, this approach neglects the problem that the released radioactive fallout would fairly quickly move with the tradewinds to affect land areas and cause devastating environmental problems. Needless to say, this is not a good idea."
Yesterday, Twitter's new owner Elon Musk said he would reverse Twitter's "foolish" ban on Donald Trump.
Mr Musk, the world's richest man with an estimated fortune of $269bn, agreed to buy Twitter in a $44bn (£34.5bn) takeover last month.
Former US president Mr Trump was a committed user of the platform, amassing more than 88 million followers, until he was "permanently suspended".
He was kicked off due to the "risk of further incitement of violence" after the January 2021 Capitol riots in Washington.
Mr Musk said tweets which are illegal or "destructive" should be deleted or hidden, but permanent account suspensions should be "extremely rare".