Top general says he would resist ‘illegal’ nuke order from Trump (Details)

Credit: AP Photo/Nati Harnik

On Saturday, a top U.S. general revealed he would resist an illegal nuclear strike order by Trump. 

At the Halifax International Security Forum in Nova Scotia, Air Force Gen. John Hyten, was asked if he has thought about what he would say if Trump ordered an unlawful strike. Hyten is also the commander of the U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM).

He responded, “I think some people think we’re stupid. We’re not stupid people. We think about these things a lot. When you have this responsibility, how do you not think about it?”

General Hyten, who oversees the U.S. nuclear arsenal, continued to explain the process on what he would do when he would receive such order.

He stated, “As head of STRATCOM, I provide advice to the president, he will tell me what to do.”

He continued, “And if it’s illegal, guess what’s going to happen? I‘m going to say, ‘Mr. President, that’s illegal.’ And guess what he’s going to do? He’s going to say, ‘What would be legal?’ And we’ll come up (with) options, with a mix of capabilities to respond to whatever the situation is, and that’s the way it works. It’s not that complicated.”

He stated that it was standard practice to run through scenarios of how to react if there was an illegal order.

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He said, “If you execute an unlawful order, you will go to jail. You could go to jail for the rest of your life.”

Hyten added that they are always ready to respond to North Korea’s threat.

He said, “And we are ready every minute of every day to respond to any event that comes out of North Korea. That’s the element of deterrence that has to be clear, and it is clear.”

Hyden concluded by saying, “President Trump by himself can’t change the behavior of Kim Jong Un.” He continued, “But President Trump can create the conditions that the international community can reach out in different ways where we can work with the Republic of Korea, where we can work with our neighbors in the region.”

The Pentagon has yet to comment on General Hyten’s comments.

Hyten’s comments come as Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jung Un has been going back and forth with insults and threats.


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