By Madeleine Carlisle
August 26, 2019

President Donald Trump is denying a report that he has suggested dropping nuclear bombs on hurricanes as a way of disrupting them before they make landfall in the United States.

“I never said this,” Trump tweeted early Monday. “Just more FAKE NEWS!”

The President’s tweet comes after Axios published a story Sunday reporting that Trump raised the idea of using nuclear bombs to stop hurricanes in multiple meetings with senior Homeland Security and national security advisors. Axios cited sources who “have heard the President’s private remarks and been briefed on a National Security Council memorandum that recorded those comments.”

Jonathan Swan, who wrote the Axios story, stands by his reporting, he says.

The idea of dropping a nuclear bomb on a hurricane is far from new — it was first considered as early as the 1960s. But as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says, dropping a nuclear bomb on a hurricane would not only fail to slow the storm, but would also release “radioactive fallout would fairly quickly move with the tradewinds to affect land areas and cause devastating environmental problems.”

Write to Madeleine Carlisle at madeleine.carlisle@time.com.

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