Trump reportedly asks his advisers if China is firing hurricanes at the United States


Topline

Former President Donald Trump has repeatedly asked national security officials if China produced technology to spawn hurricanes and fire them at the United States during his first year in office, according to rolling stoneadding to a growing list of recent reports alleging that Trump routinely broached outlandish ideas with senior officials.

Highlights

Trump would also ask advisers whether the use of such a weapon would be considered an act of war and whether the United States should respond with military strikes, according to rolling stoneciting two unnamed senior Trump administration officials and another unnamed source with knowledge of the matter.

China has attempted to manipulate the weather in the past and has claimed success in preventing rain during the 2008 Summer Olympics, but there is no evidence that China or any other country has the technology to create and somehow guide huge storms to the other side of the planet. .

Trump’s interrogation of a Chinese ‘hurricane gun’, as officials called it, continued until 2018 before he appeared to dismiss the idea and eventually started joking about it, according to rolling stone.

Two major hurricanes hit the continental United States in Trump’s first year as president, Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Hurricane Irma in Florida, while Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico.

A Trump spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Forbes.

crucial quote

‘It was almost too stupid for words,’ a former White House official said rolling stone. “I didn’t get the impression he was joking at all.”

Key context

Trump’s tenure coincided with a historic increase in hurricane activity in the Atlantic Basin, leading to some of the ex-president’s most bizarre comments and controversies during his tenure. In 2019, it was reported that Trump had told national security officials they should consider dropping nuclear bombs on developing tropical systems — an idea that has long been dismissed by meteorologists as ineffective and incredibly dangerous. In 2019, Trump also presented reporters with a modified National Hurricane Center forecast track that included Alabama in Hurricane Dorian’s projected path. Trump, according to reports, personally doctored the map using a Sharpie marker, in an incident that became popularly known as Sharpiegate. The fake storm trail was apparently an effort by Trump to hit back at critics in a September 1, 2019 tweet where he said “South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama will most likely be affected (many ) harder than expected”. although Alabama was not included in the official National Hurricane Center forecast.

Tangent

the New York Times reported last week that Trump approached former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper in 2020 to suggest firing missiles at Mexico to “destroy the drug labs.” He also reportedly suggested deploying thousands of troops to respond to Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd.

Further reading

Trump kept asking if China was shooting us with a ‘hurricane gun’ (Rolling Stone)

Trump wanted to secretly launch missiles into Mexico to blow up drug labs, former defense secretary says (Forbes)

Here’s why we can’t settle for “Nuke” hurricanes (Forbes)


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