Trump has more power to launch a nuclear strike than most people realize, according to former secretary of Defense under President Bill Clinton, Bill Perry.
Perry said in a new interview that current Pentagon Chief James Mattis does not have the power to stop President Trump if he decides to launch a nuclear strike.
“What is clear, is that the secretary of Defense does not have veto power on it. This is a decision of the president’s.” – Perry to Politico’s “Off Message” podcast.
Are you terrified yet? Because this isn’t just hype, it’s reality. Several Democratic Senators noted last month that they would introduce legislation requiring Trump to gain authorization from Congress before launching a nuclear strike. If you’re worried, now is the time to call your Senators and voice your support for such a bill.
So what power does Mattis actually possess in the matter? According to Perry, Trump may consult with Mattis while he is deciding to launch a nuclear weapon, but the Cabinet member serves only in an advisory role.
“The order can go directly from the president to the Strategic Air Command. The Defense secretary is not necessarily in that loop.”
“So in a five- or six- or seven-minute kind of decision process, the secretary of Defense probably never hears about it until it’s too late. If there is time, and if he does consult the secretary, it’s advisory, just that.”
Perry also noted that while he is uncomfortable with the entire administration, he does see Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson as “a stabilizing influence.”
“I’m not really comfortable with anybody. But I do feel that Jim Mattis and I think also perhaps Secretary Tillerson, who I don’t know as well, represent a stabilizing influence in the administration.”
“For whatever that’s worth. They’re not the ones who make the decision, final decisions, on grave national security issues. That’s made by the president.”
Time to wake up, America! Perry concluded with this alarming statement on the likelihood of nuclear war:
“I think it’s become more probably in the last year, partly because of President Trump, partly because of events happening which he really is not responsible for. But I think the danger is increasing.”