President Trump’s juvenile boast that his “nuclear button” is bigger than North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s isn’t a sign of mental instability, the White House said Wednesday.
Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that Americans have no need to fear when it comes to Trump’s mental fitness.
“The people of this country should be concerned about the mental fitness of the leader of North Korea,” Sanders said during a press briefing.
Trump tweeted a day earlier that he has a “much bigger & and more powerful” nuclear launch button than the Kim, sparking fears that his off-the-cuff comments could lead to nuclear war.
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“This is a president who is committed to protecting Americans and protecting the people of this country and he’s not going to back down from that,” Sanders responded.
Kim, meanwhile, opened key cross-border communication with South Korea on Wednesday, paving the way for a possible easing of tensions on the peninsula.
But Trump ramped up the rhetoric, keeping in line with his taunting of Kim over the past year, calling him “Little Rocket Man” and other insults.
The pair have traded barbs as Pyongyang stepped up its nuclear ambitions and tested several intercontinental ballistic missiles.
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In his New Year’s address Monday, Kim said he was willing to send a delegation to next month’s Winter Olympics in South Korea.
But he also said he has a “nuclear button” on his desk and that all U.S. territory is within striking distance of his nuclear weapons.
Vice President Pence told Voice of America contributor Greta Van Susteren that Trump sent a clear message that the U.S. will not be “bullied.”
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