Donald Trump
Donald Trump Reuters

U.S. President Donald Trump said he wanted what amounted to a nearly tenfold increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal, NBC News reported on Wednesday.

According to the report, which cited three unnamed officials who were in the room, came during a gathering this past summer of the nation’s highest-ranking national security leaders.

Trump’s comments, the officials said, came in response to a briefing slide he was shown that charted the steady reduction of U.S. nuclear weapons since the late 1960s. Trump indicated he wanted a bigger stockpile, not the bottom position on that downward-sloping curve, according to the report.

The officials present further said that Trump’s advisers, among them the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, were surprised.

Officials briefly explained the legal and practical impediments to a nuclear buildup and how the current military posture is stronger than it was at the height of the buildup. In interviews, they told NBC News that no such expansion is planned.

Trump later rejected the validity of the report and threatened to go after the licenses of "NBC and the Networks".

“With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!” Trump tweeted.

“Fake @NBCNews made up a story that I wanted a ‘tenfold’ increase in our U.S. nuclear arsenal. Pure fiction, made up to demean. NBC=CNN!” he tweeted earlier.

A representative for NBC News did not immediately return a request for comment from Fox News, though MSNBC host Ali Velshi tweeted that the network "stands by our reporting."

Trump's beef with NBC News dates back to last week's report by the network, which claimed Tillerson considered resigning amid disagreements with the White House and had even called Trump a “moron”.

Trump hit back at the network over the report, tweeting, “NBC news is #FakeNews and more dishonest than even CNN. They are a disgrace to good reporting. No wonder their news ratings are way down!”

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shmini Atzeret and Simchat Torah in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)