In which hands was the first power on the planet between January 20, 2017 and January 20, 2021? What is the current leader of the Republican Party of the United States capable of and possible candidate to return to the presidency of the country? These are recurring questions for far too long. But it is inevitable to repeat them when news like the one that Rolling Stone magazine has just verified from official but anonymous sources appears.
It was early in the mandate. Donald Trump was concerned about the damage that cyclones often inflict on populations in certain areas of the US. He was also concerned about China. And an idea suddenly flashed through his unfathomable and perhaps confused mind that he did not hesitate to transmit to his National Security advisers and many other members of his team: Does China have a secret weapon or technology with which it is creating large hurricanes? to ship them to the United States? And if so, would that constitute an act of war that the US could respond to with a military counteroffensive? And direct bombs at hurricanes to defuse them?
One of the former officials who confirmed the conversation confessed that he found the idea "too stupid" to reproduce it. But he clarified: "I did not have the feeling that he was joking at all."
The then president was repeating his questions throughout 2017 and early 2018. And his obsession led to ridicule and comments from White House staff, who ended up baptizing the occurrence as Trump's "hurricane gun" .
A witness to one of the conversations in which the president brought up the subject said: "I was present when he asked one day if China made hurricanes to send them to us," the other former senior official said. Another of those present responded with aplomb: "Not that I know of, sir." He had to be embarrassing.
Stephanie Grisham, a former assistant to the leader who later broke up with him and his family, said that although she was not aware of this specific nonsense of what her boss was, she was not surprised at all.
"Things like that weren't unusual for him," Grisham said. "He was saying crazy things all the time and asking his assistants to investigate or do something about it." cases, he will quickly forget the matter, like a small child.
The case of the hurricane gun comes to light when not even a week has passed since the last defense secretary of the former president, Mark Esper, revealed Trump's proposal to shoot down the protesters who in 2020 headed towards the House Blanca to protest the murder of African-American George Floyd at the hands of a police officer. "Why not just shoot them in the legs?" he asked.
In the book he published yesterday under the title A Sacred Oath, Esper also recounted the leader's suggestion to "fire some Patriot missiles" over Mexican territory to "quietly eliminate drug laboratories." Because the condition would be to do it "in such a way that no one knows it was us".
More recent, but with a similar air and with its unique stamp, is the trick that Trump devised to confront Russia and China in the midst of an invasion of Ukraine: "The United States should put the Chinese flag on a few F-22 planes and bomb all of Russia. And then say, 'We didn't do it, it was China.' And then they would fight and we would just watch," he told a rally to major GOP donors in New Orleans.
The attendees took it as a joke.
But was it a joke?