House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke to the top U.S. military commander on Friday about preventing President Trump from initiating hostilities or ordering a nuclear strike in his remaining days in office.
In a letter to Democratic lawmakers, Pelosi said that she had spoken to Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Miley, about precautions that could be taken to prevent the president from accessing nuclear codes.
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In the letter Pelosi said: “The situation of this unhinged president could not be more dangerous, and we must do everything that we can to protect the American people from his unbalanced assault on our country and our democracy”
Reuters reports: While Pelosi’s letter highlights the concern among lawmakers about what Trump may try to do during his remaining time in office, there are questions about what Milley or anyone could actually do to stop a president from using nuclear weapons.
“There is no legal way to do this. The president has sole, unfettered authority to order the use of nuclear weapons with no ‘second vote’ required,” said Jeffrey Lewis, a professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey in California.
Milley’s office said that Pelosi had initiated the call and Milley “answered her questions regarding the process of nuclear command authority.”
A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that any use of nuclear weapons is a highly deliberative process.