Twitter is worried about President Trump's "reckless" threats against North Korea

By Tierney McAfee
August 09, 2017 12:36 PM

President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Wednesday to boast that the U.S. nuclear arsenal is “now far stronger and more powerful than ever before,” thanks to his administration.

“My first order as President was to renovate and modernize our nuclear arsenal,” he wrote.

“Hopefully we will never have to use this power, but there will never be a time that we are not the most powerful nation in the world!” he added in a second tweet.

The tweets come amid North Korea’s escalating nuclear threats and one day after Trump issued a warning Tuesday from his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey, that North Korea “had best not make any more threats to the United States” or “they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

The president’s comments — given during a briefing on opioid addiction amid his 17-day golf-club vacation — followed reports Tuesday that North Korea may have successfully created a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles.

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday attempted to quell fears over rising tensions with North Korea, saying: “I think Americans should sleep well at night, have no concerns about this particular rhetoric of the last few days.”

“Nothing I have seen and nothing I know of would indicate that situation has dramatically changed in the last 24 hours,” he added, according to The New York Times.

But it seems Twitter users were anything but reassured as they shared their very real concerns on the matter — while also rolling their proverbial eyes over Trump’s “reckless” threats, the wording for which he apparently borrowed from former President Harry S. Truman.

Several critics, including Star Trek actor George Takei and TIME’s Zeke Miller, called “malarkey” on Trump’s boast that he’s strengthened the U.S.’s nuclear arsenal since taking office, saying that it’s not possible to commission new nuclear weapons in a matter of 200 days.

Asked about the president’s tweets, a White House spokesperson pointed to a memorandum signed early in his term ordering a review of the U.S.’s nuclear posture, Buzzfeed reported.

The Late Show host Stephen Colbert also responded to Trump’s “fire and fury” threats with an ominous warning of his own on his Tuesday show.

“I don’t want to be alarmist,” Colbert joked. “We’re all gonna die.”