Nuclear biscuits and footballs: How the president launches an atomic bomb
August 8, 2016
Washington (CNN)Hillary Clinton has recently been trying to paint Donald Trump as unfit to be entrusted with the authority to launch America’s nuclear arsenal.
“Do we want his finger anywhere near the button?” the Democratic presidential nominee asked a crowd in San Diego.
Her Republican opponent has vehemently rejected the attacks and said he would only use nuclear weapons as a last resort.
But in truth, there is no button. Instead, the president has a card, commonly called the “biscuit,” with the nuclear launch codes on it. He also has a briefcase, nicknamed the “football,” carried by a military aide, with the equipment and the information needed to launch a nuclear strike.
“You have to be ready anytime for any moment,” said Pete Metzger, who for three years was one of the five alternating officers who carried the nuclear launch suitcase during Ronald Reagan’s presidency.
No One Can Stop Trump From Waging Nuclear War With North Korea, Not Even His Generals
One nightmare scenario goes like this: Donald Trump emerges from his White House bedroom in the middle of the night, cellphone in hand, enraged by the latest taunt from North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. He spots the military aide sitting in the corridor with a black valise in his lap. It’s called the nuclear football.
“I’m gonna take care of this son of a bitch once and for all,” Trump growls. “Big-time. Gimme the codes.”
The aide cracks open the valise and hands the president a loose-leaf binder with a colorful menu of Armageddon options. They range from total annihilation plans for Russia and China down to a variety of strikes tailored to North Korea.
“I’ll take that one,” Trump says.