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Trump ‘Floored’ Puerto Rico Governor With Nuclear War Boast, New Book Claims

Then-President Donald Trump stunned then-Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló in 2017 with a boast about how America wouldn’t hang around if it came to launching nuclear weapons at an adversary, Rosselló recalls in his new memoir.

In “The Reformer’s Dilemma,” Rosselló remembers Trump telling him during a helicopter trip over areas of the island that had been hit by the monster Hurricane Maria that “nature has a way of coming back,” until it doesn’t.

The now-presumptive GOP presidential nominee brought up the unknowns of the aftermath of nuclear warfare and said what Rosselló described as “the one thing that made me more concerned than anything else in the entire visit,” per excerpts obtained by The Hill.

Trump said that “if nuclear war happens, we won’t be second in line pressing the button,” Rosselló reportedly wrote in the book due out Tuesday.

“This statement floored me,” Rosselló wrote, according to The Hill. “I could not believe what I was hearing. It was surreal. Was he really talking about total annihilation as we flew over the ravaged sights of the island?”

Donald Trump and Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló during the then-president's visit to the island following Hurricane Maria in 2017.
Donald Trump and Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló during the then-president’s visit to the island following Hurricane Maria in 2017.

AFP Contributor via Getty Images

In Rosselló’s book, the former governor also addressed Trump’s tossing of paper towels to a crowd during the same trip.

“The image plastered in history was one that demonstrates disdain and repulsion for the people,” he said, per The Hill. “Was it dumb and incredibly thoughtless? Yes. The president should have known better. But that does not detract from the true story: The media narrative got carried away, which is happening more often than not in our political culture.”

Following his visit, Trump repeatedly attacked the island on social media.

Trump threw paper towels into a crowd during his 2017 visit to Puerto Rico.
Trump threw paper towels into a crowd during his 2017 visit to Puerto Rico.

AFP Contributor via Getty Images

Trump ramped up spending on America’s nuclear arsenal during his administration and frequently warned of deploying nukes, such as with his “Little Rocket Man” taunts of his now-ally Kim Jong Un, the despotic leader of North Korea.

Washington Post reporters Robert Costa and Bob Woodward wrote in their 2021 book “Peril” that Mark Milley, the then-chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was compelled to assure then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) after the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection that “the nuclear triggers are secure” and that “the president alone can order the use of nuclear weapons” but “doesn’t make the decision alone” because they actually have to be launched by multiple people.

Rosselló resigned from his role of governing the U.S. territory in 2019 following mass protests amid allegations of corruption and the fallout from the “Chatgate” scandal.