Tags: Joe Biden | mike lee | biden | nuclear football | democrats

Sen. Lee: 'Weird' That Dems Want to Remove Biden Sole Control of Nuclear Football

Sen. Lee: 'Weird' That Dems Want to Remove Biden Sole Control of Nuclear Football
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) listens during Supreme Court Justice nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for Supreme Court Justice in the Hart Senate Office Building on Oc. 12, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 25 February 2021 11:06 AM

Three dozen House Democrats have signed off on a letter asking President Joe Biden to give up his sole authority to launch nuclear weapons, and Sen. Mike Lee said he finds that "weird."

"The fact is, the president is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces," the Utah Republican told Fox News' "Fox and Friends" Thursday. "This is why we subject presidents to a rigorous review process. They have to win the election. Once they won the election, you really do have to pick that horse and ride it and let the president be the commander in chief. It seems really weird to me that they want to take that away."

In the letter, written by Rep. Jimmy Panetta, D-Calif., and obtained by Politico, Democrats said that "vesting one person with this authority entails real risks. Past presidents have threatened to attack other countries with nuclear weapons or exhibited behavior that caused other officials to express concern about the president’s judgment."

"One can have one argument or another with regard to whether to what extent we are involved in foreign conflicts and one could have one opinion or another about as to what point it is appropriate for Congress to declare war and have the president order discreet strikes," said Lee. 

He also questioned who would then get the power to control the "nuclear football" and its codes. 

"Who are they going to give that to?" said Lee. "A committee run by Congress? In addition to being wildly unconstitutional, this would be horrible policy. Remember what happens when you put a committee in charge of protecting the Capitol? That didn't end so well, either."

The letter adds that while a president would "presumably consult with advisors before ordering a nuclear attack, there is no requirement to do so" and calls for other officials like the vice president or House Speaker to be in the line of succession.  

Democrats also voiced concerns over former President Donald Trump having sole access to the codes, including with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying in January that she spoke with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley about protecting nuclear codes from an "unhinged president."

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Politics
Three dozen House Democrats have signed off on a letter asking President Joe Biden to give up his sole authority to launch nuclear weapons, and Sen. Mike Lee said he finds that "weird." "The fact is, the president is the commander-in-chief...
mike lee, biden, nuclear football, democrats
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2021-06-25
Thursday, 25 February 2021 11:06 AM
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