A letter to Congress by more than a dozen retired nuclear launch officers calls on the legislative body to curb President Donald Trump's ability to launch nuclear weapons, citing their growing concern over his fitness to serve in office.
“In the final weeks of the presidential election, we sounded our alarm over Donald Trump’s fitness to serve as commander-in-chief, with absolute authority over the nation’s nuclear arsenal,” the 17 former missileers wrote in an open letter to Congress on Thursday. “One year into the Trump presidency, our alarm has only intensified and we must raise our voices again.
Put together by a group looking to put an end to nuclear weapons, Global Zero, the letter points to Trump's escalating rhetoric surround the North Korean situation and urges lawmakers to follow through on a measures to rein in the president's nuclear launch power.
A number of such proposals have been introduced to date but are unlikely to see success under current Republican leadership.
Those include bills that would require a declaration of war before a first strike, establish a U.S. policy of “no first strike” or give the Defense secretary and attorney general a role in certifying a launch order.
The letter ends with a plea to protect the nation and world from a president who has become more unstable and unhinged:
“We and our nation cannot abide being hostages to the mood swings of a petulant and foolish commander-in-chief,” they wrote. “No individual, especially Donald Trump, should hold the absolute power to destroy nations. That is a clear lesson of this presidency and one that we, as former stewards of the launch keys, embrace with full conviction.”
Read the full text below.