Congressional Democrats blasted President Trump on Tuesday for warning that North Korea will be met “with fire and fury” by the U.S. if it continues to ratchet up tensions involving its nuclear program.
The president made the remark during a briefing on the opioid epidemic from his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey where he’s on a 17-day vacation.
“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States,” Mr. Trump said. “As I said, they will be met with fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before.”
Earlier in the day, it was revealed that a new U.S. intelligence assessment concludes that North Korea has developed the ability to build a nuclear warhead small enough to fit on top of a ballistic missile, including an intercontinental missile that can reach the U.S., reported CBS News’ David Martin.
Several key Democratic lawmakers said that Mr. Trump’s heated rhetoric will only make the situation worse.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, who previously served as a top member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, tweeted that isolating North Korea “has not halted their pursuit of nuclear weapons.” She said “diplomacy is the only path forward.” Feinstein went on to say Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who’s currently in Asia, should discuss the reopening of North Korea talks with U.S. regional partners.
Rep. Kathleen Rice, D-New York, said that the president’s remark sounded more like a statement from “the ‘Supreme Leader’ of North Korea than from the President of the United States.”
Rep. Eliot Engel, D-New York, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said that the president has undermined U.S. credibility by drawing “an absurd red line.”
Rep. David Cicilline, D-Rhode Island, tweeted a statement that said, “This is not a time for escalating rhetoric that threatens to bring the world to the brink of war.”