Tags: Howard Dean | Trump | Nuke Comments | Musings

Howard Dean: Trump's Nuke Comments 'Musings,' Not Serious

Image: Howard Dean: Trump's Nuke Comments 'Musings,' Not Serious

(AP)

By    |   Friday, 23 Dec 2016 01:46 PM

President-elect Donald Trump's more controversial tweets and statements can't be taken seriously, as he says what he does "for musings," including his comments about extending the United States' nuclear capabilities, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean said Friday.

"First, if he were to increase the nuclear arsenal, he would need an enormous appropriation from a Congress that doesn't want to spend more money," Dean told MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle during a segment with fellow network commentator Rick Tyler, the former spokesman for one-time presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz.

"You can't take these [tweets] terribly, terribly seriously," Dean continued "I'm sure he believes all these things, at the moment he says them. But 48 hours later or 48 minutes later, he may walk it all back."

That's "alarming," he continued, as "it puts people into orbit. People get upset, especially when you're talking about nuclear weapons. I think you can't take any of this seriously until you see what he proposed in a budget or in an inaugural address."

Tyler agreed, saying he thinks there is a "lot of political posturing going on, when Trump makes such statements, and at any rate, he won't be able to fulfill those promises, anyway.

"We're limited by a treaty that Barack Obama signed in 2010," said Tyler. "That treaty doesn't expire until 2021. It doesn't strike me that he's willing to break a treaty. Remember, this isn't an agreement like we have with Iran, this is a treaty, so that would take a long process."

But the tweet also did not make clear what Trump's strategy on nuclear capabilities is, said Tyler.

"Does he plan on continuing to upgrade our nuclear capability? The Russians have to continue to upgrade their nuclear capabilities. We don't know. He hasn't had a press conference so we don't know the answers."

Russian President Vladimir held a four-hour press conference early on Friday, and Dean said he thinks that was a "public show" as well.

"Putin's press conferences aren't to be taken seriously either," said Dean. "This is like the old Kremlin watching before the Cold War ended, where you sort of guessed at what they're really saying, because they're really saying whatever they want."

Dean further said he thinks there are some similarities between Trump and the "old Soviet leaders," and that's to be more unpredictable.

"I think Rick is right. I think what happened here is he got the briefing. Our nuclear arsenal is old. It needs to be upgraded, not necessarily in terms of more nuclear power, but in terms of modernization, unless there's a substantial treaty," said Dean.

But Trump "got this into his head and blew it out 10 minutes later because he can't keep anything to himself for more than 10 minutes," said Dean. "We're going to have to get used to this. This is an unusual way for the president to conduct himself."

Tyler said he believes Trump and Putin are "sort in a game with each other" and "speak each others' language," but Putin is far more experienced in long-term strategic planning while Trump is more reactive and tactical.

But Dean said he does not believe Trump knows what he's doing.

"What other conclusion can you come to?" said Dean. "I agree with Rick about Putin has a long-term game plan. Now, Putin just lies through his teeth, as my old teacher in college used to say, it lies in such a way that not even the opposite is so.

"And Vladimir Putin is exactly that. But Trump is all over the map. We don't know what he wants. He doesn't know what he wants half the time."

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President-elect Donald Trump's more controversial tweets and statements can't be taken seriously, as he says what he does "for musings," including his comments about extending the United States' nuclear capabilities, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean said Friday.
Howard Dean, Trump, Nuke Comments, Musings
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Friday, 23 Dec 2016 01:46 PM
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