Trump suggests being ready for arms race

Washington, Dec 24 (IANS) A day after his nuclear weapons tweet sent jitters across the world, US President-elect Donald Trump further suggested that he was open to an arms race.

“Let it be an arms race. We will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all,” Trump reportedly told MSNBC in an off-air conversation on Friday.

Less than one month before taking office, Trump caused alarm on Thursday by tweeting that the United States must boost its nuclear capability, Xinhua news agency reported.

“The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes,” Trump wrote.

Though it remained unclear what caused Trump to weigh in on the issue, Russian President Vladimir Putin’ statement about the need to “strengthen” its nuclear forces, just hours before Trumps tweet, could be a factor.

But Trump’s incoming White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer declined that Trump’s tweet on nuclear weapons on Thursday was reaction to Putin’s speech.

“There’s been several countries, Russia among them, that have talked about expanding their nuclear capability. The point that he was making was very clear,” said Spicer.

In the same interview, Spicer also claimed that there would not be an arms race.

“There’s not going to be (arms race) because he’s going to ensure that other countries get the message that he’s not going to sit back and allow that,” he said.