Nuclear Codes, Doomsday Clocks: A Look at the President’s Atomic Power

Presidential candidates throughout the years have sometimes used the ominous nuclear codes as a prop to question their opponent’s temperament, and this year is no exception. Hillary Clinton has occasionally asked voters to question whether her Republican rival, Donald Trump, can be trusted with the nation’s nuclear codes.

“Imagine him in the Oval Office facing a real crisis,” she said at the Democratic National Convention. “A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.”

Trump, in turn, has questioned whether Clinton is fit to handle classified information, citing her use of a private email server while acting as secretary of state.

Host Eddie Arruza talks with Rachel Bronson, the executive director and publisher of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, about the process in which a president can order a nuclear strike, whether any checks and balances exist, and what factors are considered when the organization makes decisions regarding its Doomsday Clock, which is an internationally recognized symbol of how close the world is to a nuclear exchange that could wipe out humanity.

Video: Every nuclear bomb explosion in history, courtesy Business Insider.


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