Trump is pulling US out of nuclear treaty with Russia

"Russia has violated the agreement. They have been violating it for many years," Trump explained

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published October 21, 2018 12:20PM (EDT)

 (Salon/Benjamin Wheelock/Getty Images)
(Salon/Benjamin Wheelock/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump has declared that he is going to pull the United States out of a Cold War-era treaty that limits the number of missiles which can be produced by both his country and Russia.

"We’re going to terminate the agreement and we’re going to pull out," Trump told a Republican rally in Nevada on Saturday, according to USA Today. He added that after pulling out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, the United States is "going to develop the weapons" unless Russia and China agree to a new deal (China isn't a party of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty).

"Russia has violated the agreement. They have been violating it for many years. And we’re not going to let them violate a nuclear agreement and go out and do weapons and we’re not allowed to," Trump told the cheering audience.

During his visit to Nevada, Trump also used the opportunity to attack former Vice President Joe Biden, who recent polls project is the most likely Democratic nominee to run against Trump in the 2020 presidential election.

"He never had more than one percent. So we call him either Sleepy Joe Biden or One Percent. Which is better?" Trump asked the audience at the rally. After one Trump supporter referred to the former vice president as "Creepy Joe," the president launched into a humorous tirade in which he facetiously claimed to dislike the epithet.

"Oh no, she said Creepy Joe. She said Creepy Joe," Trump crowed, then adding "No, I would never do that. I would never insult him like that. She said she's only kidding. I would never insult."

Trump also told the audience that "now look, I wish Biden the best. I hope he's going to be the nominee actually. I mean, One Percent Joe. I just hope they pick somebody good, somebody that's going to represent their interests."

Trump's decision to take a tough stance against Russia comes as he continues to fight accusations of collusion between his presidential campaign in 2016 and the Russian government. The president has a number of ties to Russia, from his business relationships to the activities of his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. California Rep. Eric Swalwell, who Salon recently interviewed due to his being considered as a potential presidential candidate in 2020, summed up these concerns best on his website.

"Throughout the 2016 presidential election, President Trump not only refused to criticize Russian President Vladimir Putin, but was even friendly and accommodating in his remarks," Swalwell wrote. "In his own words, President Trump called President Putin 'highly respected.' More recently, President Trump put the U.S. on equal moral footing with Russia when responding to Bill O’Reilly’s question about Putin being a 'killer,' saying 'We've got a lot of killers... you think our country's so innocent?' This is absolutely false moral equivalence, and unheard of for the President of the United States to insult and demean the country he leads."

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a professional writer whose work has appeared in multiple national media outlets since 2012 and exclusively at Salon since 2016. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012, was a guest on Fox Business in 2019, repeatedly warned of Trump's impending refusal to concede during the 2020 election, spoke at the Commonwealth Club of California in 2021, was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022 and appeared on NPR in 2023. His diverse interests are reflected in his interviews including: President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak (1999-2001), animal scientist and autism activist Temple Grandin, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (1997-2001), director Jason Reitman ("The Front Runner"), inventor Ernő Rubik, comedian Bill Burr ("F Is for Family"), novelist James Patterson ("The President's Daughter"), epidemiologist Monica Gandhi, theoretical cosmologist Janna Levin, voice actor Rob Paulsen ("Animaniacs"), mRNA vaccine pioneer Katalin Karikó, philosopher of science Vinciane Despret, actor George Takei ("Star Trek"), climatologist Michael E. Mann, World War II historian Joshua Levine (consultant to "Dunkirk"), Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (2013-present), dog cognition researcher Alexandra Horowitz, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson (2012, 2016), comedian and writer Larry Charles ("Seinfeld"), seismologist John Vidale, Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman (2000), Ambassador Michael McFaul (2012-2014), economist Richard Wolff, director Kevin Greutert ("Saw VI"), model Liskula Cohen, actor Rodger Bumpass ("SpongeBob Squarepants"), Senator John Hickenlooper (2021-present), Senator Martin Heinrich (2013-present), Egyptologist Richard Parkinson, Rep. Eric Swalwell (2013-present), Fox News host Tucker Carlson, actor R. J. Mitte ("Breaking Bad"), theoretical physicist Avi Loeb, biologist and genomics entrepreneur William Haseltine, comedian David Cross ("Scary Movie 2"), linguistics consultant Paul Frommer ("Avatar"), Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (2007-2015), computer engineer and Internet co-inventor Leonard Kleinrock and right-wing insurrectionist Roger Stone.

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Donald Trump Nuclear Proliferation Russia Vladimir Putin