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Aug. 25, 2019, 7:56 p.m. EDT

Trump has reportedly suggested nuking hurricanes headed toward the U.S.

Axios reports ‘astonishing’ suggestion made multiple times; ‘This is not a good idea,’ NOAA says

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By Mike Murphy


NAA via Getty Images
Hurricane Sandy churns off the East Coast in October 2012.

President Donald Trump has reportedly suggested a number of times that the U.S. explore using nuclear bombs to prevent hurricanes from hitting the U.S. mainland.

Axios on Sunday reported that Trump has made the suggestion on multiple occasions in private meetings.

According to Axios: “During one hurricane briefing at the White House, Trump said, ‘I got it. I got it. Why don’t we nuke them?’ according to one source who was there. ‘They start forming off the coast of Africa, as they’re moving across the Atlantic, we drop a bomb inside the eye of the hurricane and it disrupts it. Why can’t we do that?’ the source added, paraphrasing the president’s remarks.”

The official delivering the briefing was reportedly “astonished.”

“After the meeting ended, we thought, ‘What the f---? What do we do with this?’” Axios’s source said.

A senior administration official told Axios that Trump’s objective — to prevent devastating hurricanes from making landfall — was “not bad,” and said the suggestion was not cause for alarm. “For me, alarm bells weren’t going off when I heard about it, but I did think somebody is going to use this to feed into ‘the president is crazy’ narrative,” the source told Axios.

The concept of nuking hurricanes is fraught with hazards.

According to the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration , a blast might not even alter the storm’s path, and “the released radioactive fallout would fairly quickly move with the tradewinds to affect land areas and cause devastating environmental problems.”

“Needless to say, this is not a good idea,” NOAA added on its website.

Doing so would also be in violation of the Peaceful Nuclear Explosions Treaty, which the U.S. ratified in 1990.

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