- The Washington Times - Monday, October 22, 2018

President Trump vowed Monday to build up the U.S. nuclear arsenal, accusing Russia of violating an arms treaty for years and warning Moscow, “you can’t play that game on me.”

“Until people come to their senses, we will build it up,” Mr. Trump told reporters at the White House. “Russia has not adhered to the agreement.”

National Security Adviser John R. Bolton was in Moscow Monday to tell Russia that the U.S. is withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) that was signed by the Soviet Union and the U.S. in 1987. The agreement has eliminated thousands of land-based missiles from each country, but the U.S. in recent years has accused Russia of violating the pact and building up its arsenal while Washington was living up to its end of the bargain.

The Russian government said it would be forced “to take measures” if the U.S. began developing new missile systems.

Mr. Trump essentially called Moscow’s bluff Monday, saying Russia and other nations can’t match America’s wealth and ability to build new weapons systems.

“We have more money than anybody else by far. We’ll build it up,” Mr. Trump said. “It’s a threat to whoever you want, and it includes China. It includes anybody else that wants to play that game. You can’t play that game on me.”

China is not a party to the treaty.

He said when Russia agrees to honor such a weapons treaty, “we’ll all stop [building up the nuclear arsenal]. Not only stop, we’ll reduce, which I would love to do.”

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