President Donald Trump took to Twitter early Aug. 26 to slam a report that claimed he suggested using nuclear weapons to stop hurricanes from hitting the United States.
“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,” Trump wrote while in France for the Group of Seven (G7) meeting.
“Just more FAKE NEWS!” he added.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 26, 2019
Trump’s post comes hours after Axios published an article on Aug. 25 claiming that Trump asked officials during a hurricane briefing at the White House, while citing anonymous sources, whether they could drop a nuclear bomb inside the eye of a hurricane while it was moving across the Atlantic to disrupt its course.
The report continues by saying that the source who provided Axios with details to the discussion subsequently told the president that they would look into it.
Responding to the president’s denial to the story, both authors of the story said they stand by their reporting.
“I stand by every word in the story. He said this in at least two meetings during the first year and a bit of the presidency, and one of the conversations was memorialized,” co-author Jonathan Swan wrote.
I stand by every word in the story. He said this in at least two meetings during the first year and a bit of the presidency, and one of the conversations was memorialized. https://t.co/5qs8o1k4QS
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) August 26, 2019
“We stand by our reporting,” Margaret Talev, who was also on the byline of the article, wrote.
We stand by our reporting https://t.co/hH991XRRlm
— Margaret Talev (@margarettalev) August 26, 2019
Last year, Axios had to correct their article after they reported, citing anonymous sources, that former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had verbally resigned in September with the headline “Exclusive: Rod Rosenstein is Resigning.”
They eventually corrected their story and headline to “Rod Rosenstein offered to resign.” The reporter of the story, Swan, offered an apology to readers in a follow-up article writing, “I regret the way I wrote this morning’s version of the story. By saying Rosenstein had ‘verbally resigned’ to Kelly rather than ‘offered his resignation,’ I conveyed a certainty that this fluid situation didn’t deserve. It’s an important nuance, and I regret the wording.”
Rosenstein did not officially submit his resignation until April 29 this year.
This is not the first time Trump has criticized media outlets for publishing inaccurate or biased reports and warned that they could go out of business for “lack of credibility or approval from the public” after he leaves office.
“The Fake News is not as important, or as powerful, as Social Media. They have lost tremendous credibility since that day in November, 2016, that I came down the escalator with the person who was to become your future First Lady. When I ultimately leave office in six years, or maybe 10 or 14 (just kidding), they will quickly go out of business for lack of credibility, or approval, from the public,” he wrote in a now-removed Twitter post.
“That’s why they will all be Endorsing me at some point, one way or the other,” he added.