Military urged to keep ‘unhinged’ Donald Trump away from nuclear launch codes
President Trump was banned from a number of social media platforms earlier this week (Image: VIA REUTERS)
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Nancy Pelosi has said she is fighting to block "unhinged" President Donald Trump from accessing nuclear launch codes in the final days of his term.
The House Speaker told colleagues action must be taken to stop the President from "ordering a strike" before he leaves the White House.
The statement comes two days after Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol in a violent attempt to thwart the democratic process which left five dead.
The rioters – inflamed by Trump's false claims of election fraud – smashed windows, sent lawmakers into hiding and looted federal property including a laptop which was stolen from Pelosi's office.
Pelosi's call to stop Trump from "ordering a strike" before he leaves the White House came just before congressional Democrats began a conference call to discuss whether to impeach Trump for an unprecedented second time.
"The situation of this unhinged President could not be more dangerous," Pelosi said.
The House of Representatives speaker said she had discussed the matter with Army General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Army General Mark Milley spoke with the House speaker about nuclear authority today
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)
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Milley's office said that Pelosi had initiated the call and that the general "answered her questions regarding the process of nuclear command authority."
A US official, speaking anonymously, said that any use of nuclear weapons is a highly deliberative process.
In opening the conference call, Pelosi called Trump "an insurrectionist" and said the members were there to discuss "how we go forward," according to a source on the call.
Trump praised his supporters on Twitter after yesterday promising in a video to ensure a smooth transition to President-elect Joe Biden's administration.
On Twitter, he said of his fans: "They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!"
Nancy Pelosi has promised to impeach Trump unless he resigns
(Image: Rod Lamkey / CNP / SplashNews.com)
Trump also confirmed he would not attend Biden's inauguration, departing from a time-honoured tradition that typically sees the outgoing president joining his successor at Capitol Hill for the ceremony.
The practice is seen as an important part of the peaceful transfer of power.
At least one Senate Republican, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, has said he would consider supporting an impeachment proceeding.
Sasse, a frequent Trump critic, told CBS News on Friday he would "definitely consider" any articles of impeachment because the president "disregarded his oath of office."
Even if the House impeaches Trump at such short notice, the decision on whether to remove him would fall to the Republican-controlled Senate, which has already acquitted him once before.
With Trump's term ending in 12 days and the Senate scheduled to be in recess until the day before, the prospects of ousting him appear unlikely.
Removing a US president requires a two-thirds majority in the Senate. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has not commented on a possible impeachment.