Donald Trump isn't worried about a global nuclear arms race: "Let it be an arms race"

In one tweet, Donald Trump went from being cozy with Russians to starting an arms race with them

By Matthew Rozsa

Published December 23, 2016 1:05AM (EST)

 (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

With a single tweet on Thursday, President-elect Donald Trump signaled that he wants to restart a nuclear arms race.

When asked about the tweet, Trump spokesman Jason Miller said that the president-elect was "referring to the threat of nuclear proliferation and the critical need to prevent it — particularly to and among terrorist organizations and unstable and rogue regimes."

But that's not what Donald Trump said on Friday.

"Let it be an arms race, we will outmatch them at every pass. And outlast them all," Trump said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Friday.

Trump's tweet on nukes came the same day that his alleged political beau ideal, Russian President Vladimir Putin, gave a speech about Russia's nuclear weapons.

"We need to strengthen the military potential of strategic nuclear forces, especially with missile complexes that can reliably penetrate any existing and prospective missile defense systems," Putin said in a speech discussing his country's military achievements for the year.

Putin also said, "We must carefully monitor any changes in the balance of power and in the political-military situation in the world, especially along Russian borders, and quickly adapt plans for neutralizing threats to our country."

For what it's worth, Putin claimed to not be bothered by Trump's recent nuclear arms talk: Putin pointed out that "during his election campaign, [Trump] said [the] U.S. needs to bolster nuclear capabilities and armed forces in general and there is nothing new."

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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Donald Trump Nuclear Weapons Russia