Donald Trump Jr. was criticized after he claimed it would be a "good" thing if his father—former Republican President Donald Trump—still had the United States' nuclear codes in his possession.
These are the codes which allow a nuclear weapons attack to be launched.
Trump Jr.'s comments amounted to the most absurd defense of his father yet in the weeks since his Mar-a-Lago estate was searched by federal agents.
Speaking at a campaign event for Florida Republican Representative Matt Gaetz, Trump Jr. said if his father "actually still had the nuclear codes, it’d probably be good." His father once infamously asked why the United States wasn't using their nuclear arsenal against hurricanes.
You can hear what Trump Jr. said in the video below.
Trump Jr. said:
“By the way, for the record, I’d say that if Donald Trump actually still had the nuclear codes, it’d probably be good."
“Our enemies might actually be like, ‘OK, maybe let’s not mess with them,’ unlike when they look at Joe Biden and they say, ‘You know what? We should attack now'.”
Trump Jr. was swiftly criticized.
Trump continues to face heavy scrutiny in the days since he alerted the world the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had executed a search warrant for his Mar-a-Lago estate.
In the days since the search, sources said Trump was in possession of classified material—including nuclear secrets—that prompted the intelligence community to voice concerns about national security.
Trump has hit back at suggestions he broke federal government policy regarding classified documents.
Additionally, his claims he had the ability to declassify any and all documents or information have been widely disputed by experts who've noted there is a specific federal process that must be adhered to before any information can be declassified.
But the classification of the documents' sensitivity is largely immaterial.
Trump was required to turn over all documents to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) when he vacated the White House. NARA later alerted the Department of Justice (DOJ) of his failure to do so.