9 times Trump or his top officials threatened to attack or nuke other countries in 2018
Dec 18, 2018, 19:30 IST
ALEX EDELMAN/AFP/Getty Images
US President Donald Trump talks to reporters prior to boarding Marine One as he departs the White House in Washington, DC on December 8, 2018. - US President Donald Trump on Saturday announced his chief of staff John Kelly would be leaving the administration at the end of the year -- the latest in a series of moves by the Republican leader to change his inner circle of aides.
Throughout 2018, President Donald Trump and top officials in his administration stoked fears of impending military or nuclear action.
By Twitter, interviews, or statements, the Trump administration threatened North Korea, Syria, Iran, Russia, and Saudi Arabia with military action.
The administration was even held in violation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons as a result of some of the president's threats, delivered via tweet.
In his first two years in office, President Donald Trump has become known as a mercurial head of state.
The president frequently takes to Twitter to lash out against perceived enemies and defend his own decisions. He's also taken to using this platform and many others to threaten violence.AdvertisementAlthough he has followed up on only some of these threats, in October a nuclear watchdog released a report that held some of his nuclear-based threats as violations of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
We've assembled nine instances where Trump or members of his administration have threatened to use military force against other countries this year.
1. Trump rang in the new year with a nuclear button-measuring contest with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un — which was widely viewed as an actual nuclear threat.
2. In another tweet, Trump warned "President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price ... to pay"
3. Of plans to denuclearize North Korea, National Security Advisor John Bolton said, "I think we're looking at the Libya model of 2003, 2004."
4. Vice President Mike Pence later repeated the "Libya model" comparison in an interview, reigniting fears about US-North Korean relations
5. Trump seemed to issue a nuclear threat in a tweet addressed to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
6. In September, Bolton threatened that another chemical attack in Syria would elicit a "much stronger response" by US forces
7. Pence addressed Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro at the General Assembly after reports surfaced that the South American leader had moved his troops to the Colombian border.
8. The next day, Trump told reporters "What's happening in Venezuela is a disgrace. All options are on the table."
9. Nikki Haley used Trump's rhetoric and mercurial temperament as a tool to threaten the UN to take a harder stance against North Korea.