President Trump once again set social media ablaze with an incendiary tweet aimed at North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
In his message Tuesday night, the president appeared to respond to Kim's New Year's Day address in which the hermit dictator bragged that "the entire mainland of the U.S. is within the range of our nuclear weapons and the nuclear button is always on the desk of my office."
Trump then fired back on Twitter that his own nuclear button is "bigger."
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018
The tweet set off a flurry of outrage among the president's critics:
Spoken like a petulant ten year old. But one with nuclear weapons - for real - at his disposal. How responsible people around him, or supporting him, can dismiss this or laugh it off is beyond me. https://t.co/uKu6p1KUWp
— Eliot A Cohen (@EliotACohen) January 3, 2018
This madman is still the single most powerful person on the planet, with the ability to order the destruction of the world in just over four minutes. https://t.co/XIKB23NKQM
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) January 3, 2018
Why would a rational leader write this tweet? https://t.co/Wd9IJp3QUm
— Andrea Mitchell (@mitchellreports) January 3, 2018
A rational leader would not write that tweet. No one on his national security team believes he is a rational leader. Now Trump is threatening nuclear war. https://t.co/B9X6SlIbzj
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) January 3, 2018
On "America's Newsroom" today, Steve Hayes of The Weekly Standard said Trump's tweet was inappropriate and "childish."
"It accomplishes nothing and demonstrates the emotional immaturity you would expect of a five-year-old," said Hayes.
Earlier on the show, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said Trump's position has not changed and he considers a nuclearized North Korea to be a threat to the world.
"We want to continue to apply maximum pressure," she said, adding that the international community is supportive of steps being taken by U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley.