Trump denies report he wanted to nuke hurricanes

President Trump is seen during a photo session at the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, on August 25, 2019. (REUTERS photo)
Updated 26 August 2019
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Trump denies report he wanted to nuke hurricanes

  • Trump slammed the story, calling it "fake news," in his latest swipe at the media
  • Twitter lit up with reactions to the Axios story, with many users appearing shocked

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump on Monday denied an Axios report that he wanted to drop nuclear bombs on hurricanes before they made landfall in the United States, calling it "ridiculous".
During a briefing, Trump asked if it would be possible to disrupt hurricanes forming off the coast of Africa by dropping a nuclear bomb in the eye of the storm, a report on the Axios website said on Sunday.
According to an anonymous source, the news website said that attendees left the hurricane briefing thinking, "What do we do with this?"
Axios did not say when this conversation took place.
But Trump slammed the story, calling it "fake news," in his latest swipe at the media.
"The story by Axios that President Trump wanted to blow up large hurricanes with nuclear weapons prior to reaching shore is ridiculous. I never said this. Just more FAKE NEWS!" he tweeted.
The White House declined to comment on the report earlier, but Axios quoted a senior administration official as saying Trump's "objective is not bad."
Axios said the president had previously made a similar suggestion in a 2017 conversation, asking a senior official whether the administration should bomb hurricanes to prevent them making landfall.
Trump did not specify in 2017 that nuclear bombs be used.
The idea of bombing hurricanes is not a new one -- and was originally proposed by a government scientist in the 1950s under President Dwight Eisenhower.
Since then it has continued to pop up, even though scientists agree it would not work. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has a page dedicated to the concept.
"During each hurricane season, there always appear suggestions that one should simply use nuclear weapons to try and destroy the storms," the NOAA said.
Not only would a bomb not alter a storm, the winds would quickly spread radioactive fallout over nearby land, NOAA added.
"Needless to say, this is not a good idea," said NOAA.
The US is regularly pummeled by hurricanes. In 2017 one named Harvey became the strongest hurricane to make landfall in 12 years.
Twitter lit up with reactions to the Axios story, with many users appearing shocked.
"Not 'The Onion,'" one user wrote, referring to the satirical news publication known for outlandish headlines.
"What could possibly go wrong?" asked another.
Many tweets also included the hashtag #ThatsHowTheApocalypseStarted.
Democratic presidential hopeful Kamala Harris weighed in as well, tweeting, "Dude's gotta go."


UK’s Boris Johnson likens himself to The Incredible Hulk

Updated 42 min 33 sec ago
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UK’s Boris Johnson likens himself to The Incredible Hulk

  • Johnson said he will meet the Oct. 31 deadline no matter what
  • “The madder Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets,” he told the Mail

LONDON: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has compared himself to The Incredible Hulk in a newspaper interview emphasizing his determination to take Britain out of the European Union next month.
Johnson faces considerable legal and political hurdles but told the Mail on Sunday he will meet the Oct. 31 deadline no matter what.
“The madder Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets,” he told the widely read tabloid, invoking the comic book and film character known for formidable but destructive strength.
Johnson remains defiant even though Parliament has passed a law requiring him to seek an extension to the deadline if no deal is reached by mid-October. He has also lost his working majority in Parliament and been told by Scotland’s highest court that his decision to suspend Parliament was illegal.
Johnson portrays himself as more convinced than ever that Britain will break with the EU at the end of October.
He will have a lunchtime meeting in Luxembourg on Monday with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to try to modify the Irish backstop that has been a main sticking point, but EU leaders did not seem impressed by Johnson’s invocation of the Hulk.
The European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator, Guy Verhofstadt, said the comments showed a lack of maturity.
“Even to Trumpian standards the Hulk comparison is infantile,” he tweeted. “Is the EU supposed to be scared by this? The British public impressed?“
Juncker, who has downplayed hopes of a breakthrough at Monday’s meeting, also expressed alarm that many people in Britain seem to feel a British departure without a deal with the EU would be a positive thing.
“It would be terrible chaos,” he said in an interview with Germany’s Deutschlandfunk radio. “And we would need years to put things back in order. Anyone who loves his country, and I assume that there are still patriots in Britain, would not want to wish his country such a fate.”
The Oct. 31 deadline looms large because Johnson has not said he will seek another extension if no deal is reached, despite legislation passed by Parliament shortly before it was suspended.
Britain’s Supreme Court this week will rule on whether Johnson overstepped the law when he shut the legislature for a crucial five-week period.
The Liberal Democrats, who have been enjoying a revival, voted overwhelmingly at their party conference Sunday to end the Brexit process entirely if they come to power.
Party leader Jo Swinson said Article 50, which triggered Brexit, would be revoked if she becomes prime minister.
The party gained an important member Saturday with the defection of Sam Gyimah, a former Conservative minister. He is the sixth legislator to switch allegiance and join the Liberal Democrats this year.
Johnson also continues to take flak from former Prime Minister David Cameron, who called the 2016 referendum on Brexit.
Cameron said in an interview published Sunday that Johnson didn’t really believe in Brexit when he broke ranks and led the campaign to take Britain out of the EU. Cameron had been expecting Johnson’s help during the hard-fought campaign.
Cameron says of Johnson: “The conclusion I am left with is that he risked an outcome he didn’t believe in because it would help his political career.”
Cameron is giving interviews to gain publicity for his upcoming memoirs.