Trump's Infamous Nuclear Button Tweet Was 'Entirely Consistent' With Policy, CIA Chief Claims

Donald Trump
President Donald Trump talks with journalists after signing tax reform legislation into law in the Oval Office on December 22, 2017. Trump praised Republican leaders in Congress for all their work on the biggest tax overhaul in decades. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s now infamous big nuclear button tweet is “entirely consistent” with U.S. policy on North Korea, according to CIA director Mike Pompeo.

The president’s tweet was roundly criticized by a number of politicians and citizens as childish and worrying, but is not so, Pompeo insisted in an interview with Fox News Sunday.

“North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!” Trump wrote Jan. 3, in a tweet directed at Kim following a comment the North Korean leader made about having a nuclear button to hand.

10_20_MikePompeo CIA Director Mike Pompeo attends the FDD National Security Summit in Washington, D.C., on October 19. The CIA believes the North Korean ruler is a rational actor whose principal goal is to keep his power. Yuri Gripas/Reuters

It was a tweet that Pompeo told host Chris Wallace was “entirely consistent with what we're trying to communicate.”

"We want the regime to understand that, unlike before, we are intent on resolving this and it is our firm conviction that resolving this diplomatically is the correct answer but that this administration is prepared to do what it takes to assure that people in Los Angeles, in Denver, in New York are not held at risk from Kim Jong Un having a nuclear weapon," Pompeo said, adding once again: “That tweet is entirely consistent with that policy.”

His comments come following a wave of criticism over the provocative tweet, with CNN host Jake Tapper suggesting the tweet was not the action of a stable person.

A day later, the president suggested his tough rhetoric and threats of a nuclear strike had led to a hotline between North and South Korea.

“With all of the failed “experts” weighing in, does anybody really believe that talks and dialogue would be going on between North and South Korea right now if I wasn’t firm, strong and willing to commit our total 'might' against the North. Fools, but talks are a good thing! ” Trump wrote, his comment coming amid concern from Washington that South Korea’s eagerness to open talks with its neighbor could result in it taking a soft line on nuclear weapons, which the U.S.’ U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley has maintained is a priority.