“If they shot their weapons at us, we’d shoot our weapons at them, and therefore a nuclear war was unlikely to happen. But what Russia now says is that they will quote, ‘escalate to de-escalate.’ They are willing to use nuclear weapons to de-escalate a conventional attack. I think that the problem here is that we don’t really have a plan to deal with that.”
He expressed his concern that Russia may use nuclear weapons against US allies in Europe, and that the US would need to use them in retaliation.
“What if they target American troops — like the American troops who are training right now in Poland — with a nuclear attack?” he asked. "What are we going to do and how quickly can that get out of control? That is why this is such a serious threat and why the Trump administration has got to take this more seriously.”
— New Day (@NewDay) March 17, 2017
President Donald Trump has repeatedly expressed his desire for better relations with Russia, as Democrats and the more neo-conservative members of the Republican Party have continuously called for hostility with the Kremlin over their claims of meddling in the US election.
In December, Trump reiterated his belief that it is "time for our country to move on to bigger and better things," expressing again his disinterest in conflict with Russia.
Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway, as well as several Republican senators, have called retaliation against Russia for alleged interference a “political response” at the behest of “Team Hillary.”