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

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."


FBI: Saudi shooter believed to have acted alone in US Navy base attack

Updated 09 December 2019

FBI: Saudi shooter believed to have acted alone in US Navy base attack

  • Special agent Rachel Rojas thanked Saudi Arabia for its cooperation in the investigation
  • Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani was shot dead after he opened fire and killed three people at the base in Florida

PENSACOLA: Investigators believe a Saudi Air Force lieutenant acted alone on Friday when he killed three people and wounded eight at a US Navy base in Pensacola, Florida before being fatally shot by police, the FBI said on Sunday.
Rachel Rojas, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Jacksonville office, said the shooter used a Glock model 45 9mm handgun that he had purchased legally in Florida.
“We currently assess there was one gunman who perpetrated this attack and no arrests have been made in this case,” Rojas, the lead investigator on the case, said at a news conference.
“We are looking very hard at uncovering his motive and I would ask for patience so we can get this right,” she said.
Authorities confirmed the suspect was a member of the Royal Saudi Air Force who was on the base as part of a US Navy training program designed to foster links with foreign allies.
The FBI identified him as Second Lt. Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, 21.
A sheriff’s deputy fatally shot the gunman, authorities said, ending the second deadly attack at a US military base within a week. Within hours, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman had called US President Donald Trump to extend his condolences and pledge the Kingdom’s support in the investigation.
Rojas said there were several Saudi students who were close to the shooter and are cooperating with investigators.
“Their Saudi commanding officer has restricted them to base, and the Saudi government has pledged to fully cooperate with our investigation,” she said. “I thank the kingdom for their pledge of full and complete cooperation.”

Meanwhile, a second victim was identified as Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, 19, of St. Petersburg, Florida, who joined the Navy after graduating from high school last year, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Haitham's mother, Evelyn Brady, herself a Navy veteran, said the commander of her son's school called her and told her Haitham had tried to stop the shooter.