"We are concerned that the president of the United States is so unstable, is so volatile, has a decision-making process that is so quixotic, that he might order a nuclear weapons strike that is wildly out of step with USA national security interests", Murphy said. "Once that order is given and verified, there is no way to revoke it".
The topic on the United States president's authority to launch a nuclear missile has not been discussed in almost four decades since a four-day hearing. The Tennessee Republican, who said he won't seek re-election next year, has had a public feud with Trump, calling the White House an "adult day-care center" and saying the US secretaries of state and defense are "the people that help separate our country from chaos".
But Democrats on the committee were happy to invoke Mr Trump, and they noted that the President's escalating rhetorical battle with North Korea - a nuclear-armed nation he and his advisers have repeatedly threatened to annihilate - lent urgency to their questions about how, if at all, presidents are limited in their abilities to fire nuclear missiles.
Markey, who urged support for proposed limits, added that his concerns about a president's authority to launch a nuclear first strike are even more elevated given the Trump Administration's approach to foreign policy.
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"This is not a hypothetical question", Mr Cardin said, noting that a nuclear first strike on North Korea could be an alternative to a conventional military campaign that would produce mass casualties in Japan and South Korea. "There are no checks on the president's authority".
With no clear legislative path forward to assert congressional control over the president's nuclear impulses, senators are splitting along party lines about how to deal with their concerns. On Sunday, he again insulted Kim by calling him "short and fat". Mattis was asked whether the president could launch a first strike with nuclear weapons, without consulting Congress, against another nuclear-armed country preparing to attack the U.S.
Peter Feaver, professor of political science and public policy, will testify in front of the Senate Foreign Relations committee Tuesday.
"I don't think the assurances I've received today will be satisfying to the American people, I think they can still realize that Donald Trump can launch nuclear codes just as easily as he can use his Twitter account without a check and balance". "It's not the only tool in the toolkit to try to address something like that", Mattis said. In recent months, lawmakers have insisted the president seek Congress's approval before revoking any sanctions against Russian Federation, and momentum is building for a new authorization for use of military force (AUMF) to address the military's current and future operations against the Islamic State and other extremist groups. "I think that we have to keep trust, keep faith in the system that we have that has proven effective now for decades".
"We are concerned that the president of the United States is so unstable, is so volatile, has a decision-making process that is so quixotic, that he might order a nuclear strike that is swildly out of step with USA interests", said Sen.