Former Republican President Donald Trump was mocked after former Trump administration officials revealed he kept asking if China was using a "hurricane gun" on the United States and openly inquired whether he could direct the military to retaliate.
Trump reportedly made the request not too long after he took office. The idea so consumed him he badgered national security officials and their staffers about it on more than one occasion.
According to a former official who spoke to Rolling Stone, Trump's request "was almost too stupid for words" but they admitted they "did not get the sense he was joking at all.”
Another official who spoke to the outlet on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations, Trump "asked if China ‘made’ hurricanes to send to us" and “wanted to know if the technology existed."
The source added:
"One guy in the room responded, ‘Not to the best of my knowledge, sir.’ I kept it together until I got back to my office… I do not know where the [then-]President would have heard about that…"
"He was asking about it around the time, maybe a little before, he asked people about nuking hurricanes.”
Trump's reported fascination with the "hurricane gun" did not surprise his former White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham, who said Trump's inane questions were simply par for the course for working in the Trump administration.
"Stuff like that was not unusual for him. He would blurt out crazy things all the time, and tell aides to look into it or do something about it."
"His staff would say they’d look into it knowing that more often than not, he’d forget about it quickly—much like a toddler.”
The news quickly spread across social media.
Many mocked Trump's behavior, suggesting it's a sign of further cognitive impairment.
The news isn't the first time that Trump and his absurd questions about hurricanes have made headlines.
In 2019, Axiosreported that Trump asked why the United States could not just drop a nuclear bomb into the eye of a hurricane to stop it from making landfall.
Trump's question–which he vehemently denied ever asking–prompted a response from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which noted that detonating a nuclear weapon "might not even alter the storm" and the "radioactive fallout would fairly quickly move with the tradewinds to affect land areas."
That same year, Trump found himself at the center of "Sharpiegate," which arose from a comment made by Trump as Hurricane Dorian approached the mainland. Trump incorrectly included Alabama in a list of states that would be affected by the storm, a statement that prompted a correction from the local weather bureau after Alabama residents called in to ask about it.
However, Trump continued to insist that his initial claim had been correct and he showed reporters a weather map which had been altered with a Sharpie marker to show the hurricane's track threatening Alabama.