The Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on the president's powers to launch a nuclear strike, and chairman Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) said it was not specifically about Trump. "Only the President of the United States can order the employment of USA nuclear weapons", Kehler said at the hearing. Corker said a number of lawmakers have raised questions about the process and deployment of the USA nuclear arsenal.
An influential Republican who warned just a month ago that President Trump could be leading the nation on the path to World War III said Tuesday the time has come for Congress to review "the realities" of the president's authority to order a nuclear attack.
"If there is an illegal order presented to the military, the military is obligated to refuse to follow it", he said. The Tennessee Republican, who said he won't seek re-election next year, has had a public feud with Trump, calling the White House an "adult day-care center" and saying the US secretaries of state and defense are "the people that help separate our country from chaos".
Senator Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat, said he's been receiving "more and more questions" during town hall meetings with constituents about whether the president can order a nuclear attack without any controls.
The committee is holding a hearing at 10 a.m. Tuesday on the president's ability to authorize nuclear weapons. He said those comments are fueled by Trump's statements about North Korea, including his remark in August that the US could respond to Pyongyang with "fire and fury like the world has never seen". "That is frightening", Cardin said.
Trump has used both confrontational and conciliatory language on North Korea in recent days.
"If we saw they were preparing to do so and it was imminent, I could imagine it". Neither piece of legislation has gained any traction in the Republican-controlled Congress.
"The system is not a button that the President can accidentally lean on against the desk and immediately cause missiles to fly as some people in the public, I think, fear it would be", Feaver testified, adding that the decision requires the President to work with military aides who are attending him - who have possession of the materials he needs - and personnel at all levels from top commanders all the way down to service members working in the missile silo to carry out an order.
"We are concerned that the president is so unstable, is so volatile, has a decision-making process that is so quixotic, that he might order a nuclear-weapons strike that is wildly out of step with USA national-security interests", Murphy said. Chris Murphy, Connecticut Democrat.