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Clinton and a Former Launch Officer Paint Trump as a Scary Nuclear Option

Clinton cited a letter from nearly two-dozen retired launch officers that Trump's temperament makes him unfit to handle nuclear decisions.
Clinton cited a letter from nearly two-dozen retired launch officers that Trump's temperament makes him unfit to handle nuclear decisions.
Clinton cited a letter from nearly two-dozen retired launch officers that Trump's temperament makes him unfit to handle nuclear decisions.
Credit M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU
Clinton cited a letter from nearly two-dozen retired launch officers that Trump's temperament makes him unfit to handle nuclear decisions.

Hillary Clinton abandoned her usual Ohio stump speech Monday – trading it for an apocryphal vision of Donald Trump and nuclear war. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more from the rally at Kent State University.

Clinton usually focuses on jobs and the economy when she speaks in Ohio, promising to rebuild infrastructure and improve workforce training.

But it was clear even before she stepped to the podium at Kent State’s recreation center that this would be different. The man introducing her was Bruce Blair, an analyst whose books include “The Logic of Accidental Nuclear War” -- and one of two-dozen former nuclear launch officers who signed an open letter last month declaring Donald Trump should not be entrusted with the nation’s nuclear codes.

“I can tell you if I were back in the launch chair, I would have no faith in his judgment, none. And I would live in constant fear of his making a bad call.” 

Clinton then spent most of her 45-minute speech underscoring what he started:

"When the president gives the order, that’s it. There’s no veto for Congress. No veto by the joint chiefs. The officers in the silos have no choice but to fire. And that can take as little as 4 minutes."

The crowd at Kent State's recreation center circled on two higher levels around the floor where thousands listened.
Credit M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU
The crowd at Kent State's recreation center circled on two higher levels around the floor where thousands listened.

Clinton repeated her claim that Trump is temperamentally unfit to be entrusted with such a decision, pointing to interviews in which he’s seemed to embrace the use and proliferation of nuclear weapons

“To talk so casually, so cavalierly about mass annihilation is truly appalling.” 

The message rattled Jordan Myers, a middle schooler from Stark County, who can’t vote but is convinced Hillary Clinton is the best hope for her generation.

“I feel like I could run the country better than him. It makes me shake.”

But Anthony Citraro, a Trump supporter and Kent State student, says Clinton comes with some high risks as well.

“Vladimir Putin is actually threatening war with the United States if Hillary gets in.  She’s also threatening war with Syria because you can’t have a no-fly zone without declaring war.” 

Terry Greene. with her granddaughter, calls the email controversy an unfair distraction.
Credit M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU
Terry Greene. with her granddaughter, calls the email controversy an unfair distraction.

Clinton began by talking about the FBI announcement that it’s reviewing one of her aide’s emails, saying she doesn’t know why the FBI broke with protocol and announced the review eight days before the election. She underscored that her concern was with the public announcement, not with the review itself.

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