Trump in a briefing asked three times, “Why can’t we use nuclear weapons?”
That’s from Kevin Drum’s Wednesday evenng Trump news roundup. The passage:
Maybe this means the Trump team is finally making its long-awaited pivot to a more restrained general election posture. What do you think about that, Joe Scarborough?
During a conversation with former CIA director Michael Hayden, Scarborough said a “foreign policy expert on the international level” advised Trump several months ago and the Republican nominee for president asked questions about nuclear weapons that might terrify you.
“Three times he asked about the use of nuclear weapons. At one point, ‘If we have them, why can’t we use them?’,” Scarborough said that Trump had inquired.“Three times in an hour briefing, ‘Why can’t we use nuclear weapons?’”
And you might also read E. J. Dionne’s column:
“What does this say about your party that this is your standard-bearer?”
The headlines from President Obama’s excoriation of Donald Trump on Tuesday rightly highlighted his flat declaration that the Republican nominee is “unfit to serve as president.” But the challenge to Republican leaders who fell in line behind Trump was even more devastating.
Obama was not simply condemning a man whose brutal cruelty finally came home to anyone with a heart after Trump’s attacks on a Gold Star family. The president was also indicting the entire GOP leadership for courting the extremism that led to Trump and for acquiescing in his nomination.
Let’s focus on the most revealing aspect of this week’s turmoil within a party now aghast over the unstable egotist at the top of its ticket.
Trump could falsely claim that Obama was born abroad, but that wasn’t enough to disqualify him. He could call Mexican immigrants “rapists,” but that wasn’t enough to disqualify him. He could lie repeatedly — about, for example, whether he had met Vladimir Putin and whether he had opposedthe Iraq War — but that wasn’t enough to disqualify him. He could call for a ban on Muslim immigration to the United States, but that wasn’t enough to disqualify him. He could make degrading comments about women andmock people with disabilities, but that wasn’t enough to disqualify him.
No, it seems, all this and more were sufficiently within the bounds of acceptability for House Speaker Paul Ryan to tell delegates to the Republican National Convention that “only with Donald Trump and Mike Pence do we have a chance at a better way.”
So what really set off the crisis in the Republican Party this week? Trump suddenly became unacceptable because, in an interview with Philip Rucker of The Post, he refused to endorse Ryan and John McCain in their Republican primaries.
No matter what Trump said, Reince Priebus, the Republican national chairman, was willing to bow and scrape before Trump for months in trying to pull the party together behind him. Now, and only now, is Priebus reported to be “furious” and “apoplectic” at Trump. The message: Trump can say anything he wants about women, the disabled, Mexicans and Muslims, but how dare The Donald cause any trouble for Priebus’s friend Paul Ryan?
The corruption of a once-great political party is now complete.
The sense of emergency is so profound that . . .