US President Donald Trump asked for a massive increase in the country's nuclear arsenal during a summer meeting with military leaders, according to a bombshell report from NBC news. Three officials who were in the room during the 20 July meeting told the news station that military advisers were surprised by the president's remarks.
Trump was said to have commented that he wanted more nuclear weapons after being shown a chart depicting the US's reducing stockpile. It was after this meeting, NBC said, that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was said to have called Trump a "moron".
No plans for nuclear expansions are thought to be taking place – any increase would likely be in violation of decades of nuclear non-proliferation treaties ad could spark a new arms race with other major powers.
Trump tweeted on Wednesday morning that the story was not true, saying: "Fake @NBCNews made up a story that I wanted a "tenfold" increase in our U.S. nuclear arsenal. Pure fiction, made up to demean. NBC = CNN!"
IBTimes UK reached out to the White House for comment on the report but did not recieve a reply by the time of publication.
Further nuclear ambitions could further inflame tensions with North Korea, the often-named Hermit Kingdom which has sparked sparring talk from the US President over its missile tests and attempts to become a nuclear state.
The meeting reportedly worried officials in the room about the president's understanding of certain military issues. The commander-in-chief also reportedly asked for a larger US military in general.
Reports that Tillerson had spoken so disparagingly about his boss led to the Secretary of State making a statement refuting the claims. Trump replied in his own style when asked about the alleged comments, seemingly challenging Tillerson to an IQ test: "I think it's fake news, but if he did that, I guess we'll have to compare IQ tests. And I can tell you who is going to win." the president said.