Former President Donald Trump regularly asked White House national security officials if China possessed a “hurricane gun” that could fire damaging artificial storms at the US, according to a report in Rolling Stone.
According to three unnamed former officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the one-term president wanted to know if such a weapon constituted an act of war and whether his military could react against China.
“It was almost too stupid for words,” one source told the magazine, which said that the person was “intimately familiar” with Trump’s questioning.
“I did not get the sense he was joking at all,” the source added.
Another aide said, “I was present when he asked if China ‘made’ hurricanes to send to us, (he) wanted to know if the technology existed. One guy in the room responded, ‘Not to the best of my knowledge, sir.’ I kept it together until I got back to my office… I do not know where the [then-] president would have heard about that… He was asking about it around the time, maybe a little before, he asked people about nuking hurricanes.”
While in the White House, Trump seemed to have a strong personal interest in storms, suggesting that the military should bomb hurricanes before they hit land.
In 2019, when Hurricane Dorian was creating destruction in the United States, reports suggest that President Trump had proposed bombing the hurricane with nuclear weapons. He believed at the time that this would dissipate the winds, and calm the storm down.
During this time, there was also the “Sharpie-gate” incident. That was when Trump adamantly and erroneously claimed Hurricane Dorian threatened Alabama—going so far as to alter a NOAA forecast map with a permanent marker to prove his point.