President Trump’s uncomfortably casual nuclear threats might not be enough to get him banned from Twitter, but the severity of his truculent rhetoric has, at least, forced Senate Democrats to preventively act.
On Wednesday night, Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut announced he would introduce bill prohibiting Trump from preemptively striking North Korea. Senators Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Cory Booker of New Jersey will cosponsor the bill, Murphy added. “Trump’s North Korea threats are real,” he tweeted. “I will introduce a bill to prohibit any preemptive action without vote by Congress.”
Murphy has been sounding alarm bells for a few weeks now. “It’s time to take Trump seriously as he keeps hinting, over and over, that he wants to go to war with North Korea,” he tweeted at the beginning of October. “Trump’s war drum rhetoric seems like over the top braggadocio but why assume it’s just bluster?”
In the days since Murphy stressed the reality of Trump’s threats, diplomatic talks with North Korea have faltered further towards disaster — a breakdown that can only be attributed to Trump, who publicly undercut his own Secretary of State Rex Tillerson by suggesting negotiations with North Korea were “a waste of time.”
Before his trip to South Korea, where its unclear if he will visit the Demilitarized Zone, Trump abated absolutely no one’s concerns during an interview with Fox News on Wednesday night. His comments, delivered in his characteristically unintelligible way, amounted to “I got this.”
“This should have been solved long before I came to office, when it would have been easier to solve,” he told Fox Business Network’s Lou Dobbs. “But it was given to me and I get it solved. I solve problems.”
It’s difficult to imagine there remains a single lawmaker who actually believes Trump has got this whole North Korea “problem” in the bag. Nearly all Senate Republicans think Trump could cause World War III, Senator Bob Corker said less than three weeks ago. But empty condemnations are far different than tangible efforts to impede Trump’s disaster autopilot — and Murphy suggested as much.
“For all the Republicans breaking with Trump,” Murphy implored. “Here is your chance to actually constrain his most dangerous power — to make war.”