Trump floated nuking hurricanes to stop them from hitting US: report – By Chris Mills Rodrigo (The Hill) / Aug 25 2019
President Trump has floated dropping nuclear bombs into hurricanes to stop them from hitting the United States in meetings with Homeland Security and national security officials, Axios reported Sunday.
According to sources who have heard the president’s private remarks and have been briefed on a National Security Council (NSC) memorandum, the suggestions were made during briefings on hurricanes.
“I got it. I got it. Why don’t we nuke them?” Trump said at one such White House briefing, a source who was there told Axios.
“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 told Axios that the briefer responded with something to the effect of “Sir, we’ll look into that.”
A 2017 NSC memo relayed to Axios reportedly describes a second conversation in which Trump asked whether the administration should bomb hurricanes to stop them from hitting the homeland.
A source briefed on the NSC memo noted that it does not contain the word “nuclear.”
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Axios’s report. A senior administration official told Axios, “We don’t comment on private discussions that the president may or may not have had with his national security team.”
Another senior administration official told Axios, “His goal — to keep a catastrophic hurricane from hitting the mainland — is not bad. His objective is not bad.”
The idea of using nuclear weapons to disrupt hurricanes has been floated before.
A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration fact sheet about tropic cyclones address the concept and points out that it would be unlikely to work and most likely cause more harm than good.
“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,” the sheet reads.
“Needless to say, this is not a good idea.”