Senator Markey and Congressman Ted Lieu have introduced legislation prohibiting any American president from launching a nuclear first strike without a declaration of war by Congress


Washington (February 9, 2017) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement after Reuters reported today that President Donald Trump had a conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin in which President Putin brought up the topic of the New START treaty, the agreement signed in 2010 that limits deployed nuclear warheads and delivery vehicles that will reduce the Russian nuclear threat. There was resounding support for New START from U.S. military leadership when the treaty was negotiated. Reuters reports that President Trump was unaware of the treaty during his conversation with President Putin, and then he denounced it as a “bad deal” for the United States. White House spokesperson Sean Spicer refused to comment on the conversation between Presidents Trump and Putin and the Reuters story during his daily press briefing today.


“The New START Treaty makes a vital contribution to U.S. national security by limiting the Russian nuclear weapons arsenal. That is why Secretary of State Rex Tillerson affirmed during his confirmation hearing his commitment to meet U.S. obligations under the treaty. If President Trump spoke with his own cabinet secretaries, he would know that nuclear arms control, and specifically the New START Treaty, strengthens American national security and preserves taxpayer dollars. Donald Trump’s uninformed nuclear rhetoric is dangerous rhetoric and will only increase the risk of nuclear war.


“I call on President Trump to affirm his commitment to New START and disavow any efforts to launch a wasteful and destabilizing new nuclear arms race with Russia.”