In the CNN Republican Town Hall on Tuesday, Anderson Cooper pressed Donald Trump on his stance on nuclear proliferation. When Cooper attempts to ask Trump about proliferation Trump immediately interrupts him and calls it “the biggest issue of our time.” Later in the interview he states that he is against proliferation and “hates proliferation.”
Almost immediately Trump then suggests that the US stop giving military aid to Japan and South Korea, and promotes allowing them to develop nuclear technology, thereby exacerbating what Trump just called the “biggest issue of our time.” He also denies that this is contradictory, because Trump doesn’t know what “proliferation” means?
Cooper asked “So you have no problem with Japan and South Korea having nuclear weapons?” Trump responded with “At some point we have to say, you know what, we’re better off if Japan protects itself against this maniac in North Korea, we’re better off, frankly, if South Korea is going to start to protect itself.”
He then seems to be in favor of Saudi Arabia gaining nuclear weapons, but quickly backtracks, saying that the US should stop militarily supporting one of our strongest allies in the Middle East.
Cooper mentions that for years it has been US policy to prevent Japan from developing nuclear weapons. Trump responds that “maybe it’s going to have to be time to change.” In the most chilling moment of this terrifying exchange, when Trump is pressed to give an answer on whether Saudi Arabia and others should have nuclear weapons he flippantly replies “Can I be honest with you? It’s going to happen anyway. It’s only a question of time. They’re going to start having them or we’re going to have to get rid of them entirely…Wouldn’t you rather, in a certain sense, have Japan have nuclear weapons when North Korea has nuclear weapons?”