President Donald Trump has warned newly-reelected Russian President Vladimir Putin that if Moscow wants an arms race, they will get crushed.
NBC News reports that the threat came in a phone call ostensibly to congratulate Putin on his reelection — which was more or less preordained, since what actual competitor wants to end up with polonium-210 in their vichyssoise?
“Two officials said Trump told Putin during a phone call last week after Putin’s re-election: ‘If you want to have an arms race we can do that, but I’ll win,'” NBC News said.
“Trump added that he hoped that Putin’s comments were just election rhetoric and bragged that he’d just secured a $700 billion defense budget, the largest the U.S. has ever had, he said, according to one of the officials.
“Afterward the president gave no hint of tensions when he told reporters that the two leaders had ‘a very good call’ and that he plans to meet with Putin soon to discuss curtailing an arms race,” NBC added.
The revelation of the call comes several weeks after Putin unveiled new weapons during his state of the union address, including a nuclear-powered missile system.
“No one listened to us,” Putin said at the time. “Listen to us now.”
However, sources within the U.S. government said that they “had observed a small number of Russian tests of its nuclear-powered cruise missile and seen them all crash.”
The revelation of the phone call came days after the Monday expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats, all in response to a former Russian spy being attacked with a nerve agent in the U.K.
That’s the largest expulsion of Kremlin diplomats since the end of the Cold War.
Tensions between America and Russia have ratcheted up over recent months.
Perhaps the most serious event has been a clash between the Russian proxy forces and American soldiers in Syria, which left hundreds of the proxy forces dead.
If Putin wants an arms race and a proxy war in Syria, it seems like that’s what he’ll get. It’s unlikely he really wants that, however.
One thing is for certain, however: if Putin he wants an arms race, he’ll certainly get one.
And he’ll get one with the most powerful military in the world.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.