Donald Trump's confusing comments about nuclear weapons in Monday night's debate are not the first time during this presidential campaign that his statements have left nuclear experts wondering just what he might do if he gains access to the nuclear football.
On Monday, Trump agreed with moderator Lester Holt that nuclear weapons are of paramount importance to the U.S. — but then called for more nations to join the nuclear club. He ruled out a "first strike," but then revealed not just a willingness to use nukes but also a misunderstanding of the high-stakes balancing act the nuclear superpowers have pursued for decades.
"I think that once the nuclear alternative happens, it's over," Trump said, referring to the use of nuclear weapons. "At the same time, we have to be prepared. I can't take anything off the table. Because you look at some of these countries, you look at North Korea, we're doing nothing there."