GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Thursday again refused to rule out using nuclear weapons in the fight against the Islamic State terrorist group, saying he will not be a “happy trigger” but that he wants to have an element of unpredictability.
“I don’t want to rule out anything,” Mr. Trump said on NBC’s “Today” program. “I will be the last to use nuclear weapons. It’s a horror to use nuclear weapons. The power of weaponry today is the single greatest problem that our world has, and it’s not global warming like our president said. It’s the power of weapons, in particular nuclear.”
“I will be the last to use it. I will not be a happy trigger like some people might be. I will be the last,” he said. “But I will never, ever rule it out.”
Mr. Trump said one of the tenets of his foreign policy speech Wednesday is that “we need unpredictability.”
“If I get elected president, I don’t want ISIS to know what I’m going to be doing,” he said.
Host Matt Lauer suggested that some American voters might be a little nervous that the call for unpredictability is actually a way of masking an understanding of the issues or a grasp of the details.
“I have a total grasp of the details — far greater than just about anybody else, that I can tell you,” Mr. Trump said.
“When I said ‘take the oil’ — and [I’d] been saying it for a long time — I didn’t want to tell that, but yourselves and everybody else was saying, ‘Tell us what it is, tell us what it is,’ ” he said. “And after three months, I said, ‘Take the oil.’ “
“Now, I would have preferred not doing that, but politically I really had to because it got to a point where people just had to know,” Mr. Trump said. “I would have preferred not saying, ‘Take the oil,’ and when you go in, you surprise [them].”
“Now [they’ve] fortified oil reserves and they’ve prepared,” he said. “And we’ll still take the oil, and we should be taking the oil, and we’re not.”