GLENN: So I want to talk to you a little bit what MSNBC and NBC News has done. They have just released a story about President Trump.
Now, listen to this. President Donald Trump said he wanted to what amounted to a nearly ten-fold increase in the US nuclear arsenal during a gathering this past summer of the nation's highest-ranking national security leaders, according to three officials who were in the room.
Trump's comments, the officials say, came in response to a briefing slide he was shown that charted the steady reduction of US nuclear weapons since the late 1960s. Trump indicated he wanted a bigger stockpile, not the bottom position on the downward sloping curve.
According to the officials, President Trump's advisers, among them joint chiefs of staff and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson were surprised.
Officials briefly explained the legal and practical impediments to the nuclear build-up and how the currently military posture is stronger now than it was at the height of the buildup.
Did Trump's call to expand nuclear arsenal lead to Tillerson's moron remark? Revelation of Trump's comments that day come as the US is locked in high-stakes standoff with North Korea over its nuclear ambition, and it is poised to set off fresh confrontation with Iran, by not certifying to Congress that Tehran is in compliance.
Trump convened a meeting Tuesday with his national security team, which they discussed a range of options, to respond to any form of North Korean aggression. Or if necessary, to prevent North Korea from threatening the US and its Allies with nuclear weapons.
The president's comments during the Pentagon meeting in July came in response to a charge showing that in the meeting, on the history of the US in Russia's nuclear capabilities, that showed America's stockpiled had its peak in the 1960s. But his comments raised questions about his familiarity with the nuclear posture and other issues.
Two officials present said multiple points in the discussion, the president expressed a desire, not just for more nuclear weapons, but additional US troops and military equipment.
Any increase in America's nuclear arsenal would not only break with decades of nuclear doctrine. But it would also violate international disarmament treatments -- treaties signed by every president since Ronald Reagan. Non-proliferation experts warn that such a move could set off a global arms race. If you were to increase the numbers, the Russians were match him, and the Chinese. There hasn't been a military mission that required a nuclear weapon in 71 years.
Details of the meeting have not been previously reported. They shed additional light on the tensions among the commander-in-chief, members of his cabinet, and the uniformed leadership of the Pentagon, stemming from vastly different worldviews. Moreover, the president's comments reveal that Trump who suggested before his inauguration that the US must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability, voiced desire as commander-in-chief, directly to the military leadership in the heart of the Pentagon this summer.
Some officials in the Pentagon were rattled by the president's desire for more nuclear weapons. And his understanding of the other national security issues from the Korean peninsula to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Now, why am I reading this to you? Why am I giving you this story?
Well, what do you think that story does over in China? What does that story do in -- in Russia? What does that story mean to the North Koreans?
NBC has taken a position now to run a story about how the president said he wanted -- later came back and said, "No, they were right."
He can't do that. If he did, it would kick off an arms race. And if that happened, it would greatly destabilize the entire world.
If he was looking for additional nuclear weapons and you're Chinese, what do you think you do?
If you are in a country where everything is run by the state, what do you think their advisers are saying this story means?
As we found out after the fall of the Berlin wall, Russia took all of our -- our newspaper stories, and they believed that we're all CIA plants. They believed that we were planting that information in the news, to send them messages.
Now, has that made our life more secure or less secure? Has this helped us with national security, or hurt us with national security?
The story goes on to say, this is why the president's advisers are calling him a moron.
So not only did they put the rest of the world on alert, that the president may be doing things that are illegal, which there is no evidence of that. In fact, the story later points out exactly the opposite.
But he -- he wants to do this. He wants a big military buildup on the week that he said to North Korea, there's only one thing that's going to solve.
Well, what is that? That's war.
So NBC decides to release a story that puts us all in grave danger. They're willing to go out, and they're willing to blast President Trump for political reasons. And they're willing to possibly destabilize the entire world.
In a completely unrelated story, Stu, can you give me the update from Ronan Farrow
STU: Yeah, Ronan Farrow, of course, was reporting on the Weinstein case. He was working on it for ten months. Ten months of research.
GLENN: This is Mia Farrow, Woody Allen's son.
STU: Yes. So another thing you might know about Ronan Farrow is he's an employee of NBC News.
GLENN: Hang on just a second. He's a respected journalist. I don't know for what for.
STU: He has won awards.
GLENN: But, yes, he's won huge news awards. He's a respected journalist at NBC.
STU: And by and far, the most accomplished thing he's ever done is the story about Harvey Weinstein. This is going to upset his career for -- I mean, this is a huge story. By all accounts, he did a great job reporting it. Was diligent. Was threatened personally by Harvey Weinstein with a lawsuit during this process. Really, did -- he took on everybody. And it's interesting that a guy being paid by NBC News winds up releasing the biggest story of the year for the New Yorker.
GLENN: Now, hang on just a second. It's not that he just went out. NBC told him to go find another outlet to publish this.
GLENN: Now, this on the heels of Saturday Night Live, on Saturday, having whole bunches of Weinstein jokes. And shockingly, cutting all of them and not making any reference to Harvey Weinstein at all.
STU: And there's an interesting -- I guess a side-by-side there. Because you might say -- and I have no problem with them reporting the NBC thing. Or the nuclear arsenal thing.
You could argue it's just a leak. But if it's a news organization, I think they have a legitimate stance to say, "You know what, damn the consequences. Damn the torpedoes. If we have a big news story that's important to the people, we're going to bring it. We're going to bring it out." You just can't make that point when you just gave the biggest story of the year to the New Yorker because you were afraid of the consequences from Harvey Weinstein. You can make the point about the nuclear story being legitimate. But it is obviously an actual danger to our national security.
Now, that doesn't mean you don't print it. I mean, if it's a real story, and it's really important, you could still do it.
But, I mean, they were not worried about the consequences of actual nuclear world war. But they were worried about the consequences of Harvey Weinstein.
That is an incredible statement. And, I mean, you want to talk about priorities. I don't mind you saying damn the torpedoes. But if you're going to take one of these things into account to not report a news story, maybe the one about the ten times nuclear arsenal increase is the one you skip.
GLENN: See, I didn't see those two stories connected at all.
GLENN: And I'm sure neither do the people at NBC.
STU: Really? Because I thought there was a pretty direct --
GLENN: I think -- it's just happenstance that I brought them up side by side.