On Thursday morning, Donald Trump tweeted that the United States needed to "greatly strengthen and expand" its nuclear arsenal "until such time as the world comes to its senses."
He did not specify what "coming to its senses" would mean.
This came hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia also needed to beef up its nuclear arsenal, the BBC reports.
The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 22, 2016
Here's the full tweet.
US and Russia are not in a nuclear arms race against each other. Instead, under Trump, shared willingness to use nukes against a third party— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) December 22, 2016
This was met with almost immediate backlash.
The world is officially screwed. Both Trump and Putin have the same views on nuclear arms. We will have a maniac as president.— Chris Zadorozny (@Zads77) December 22, 2016
The timing after Putin's announcement scared some Twitter users.
Trump has frequently referred to nuclear weapons, mostly hypothetical Iranian weapons.
This would be a big pivot
The United States has thousands of nuclear weapons, but the stockpile has been greatly reduced since its peak in the 1980s, thanks to landmark arms reduction treaties with the former Soviet Union.
In 2010, President Obama and then-President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia signed the "New START" treaty aimed at reducing the number of nuclear weapons worldwide.
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