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Trump on nuclear weapons tweet: "Let it be an arms race" - MSNBC

Reuters logo Reuters 23/12/2016

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said: "Let it be an arms race," when asked for clarification of his Thursday Twitter post calling for an expansion of U.S. nuclear weapon capabilities, MSNBC said on Friday.

"We will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all," Trump said in an interview with MSNBC, the network reported one day after the tweet that alarmed non-proliferation experts.

On Thursday, Trump said: "The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes."

A woman wears a shirt reading 'Trump Putin '16' © AP Photo/David Goldman, File A woman wears a shirt reading 'Trump Putin '16'

Trump, who takes office on Jan. 20, gave no further details. It was not clear what prompted his comment, which came the same day Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country needed to boost its nuclear forces.

Trump spokesman Sean Spicer said in several television interviews on Friday that there would not be an arms race because the president-elect would ensure that other countries trying to step up their nuclear capabilities, such as Russia and China, would decide not to do so.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump talks with the media at Mar-a-Lago estate where Trump attends meetings, in Palm Beach, Florida © REUTERS/Carlos Barria U.S. President-elect Donald Trump talks with the media at Mar-a-Lago estate where Trump attends meetings, in Palm Beach, Florida

"He's going to ensure that other countries get the message that he's not going to sit back and allow that," Spicer told NBC. "And what's going to happen is they will come to their senses, and we will all be just fine." 

US President-elect Donald Trump © Reuters US President-elect Donald Trump

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