Senate committee considers president's power to launch nuclear weapons

Witnesses at the hearing stressed that there are some checks.
2:42 | 11/14/17

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Senate committee considers president's power to launch nuclear weapons
Processed meats the president has the sole authority in of that war. Whether we are responding to a nuclear attack or not. Once that order is given and verified there's no way to revoke it to be clear. I would not support changes that would reduce our deterrence of adversaries. Or reassurance. Of our allies. But I would like to explore as their predecessors and ousted 41 years ago. The realities of this system. US nuclear forces operate under strict civilian control. Only the president of the United States can order the employment of US nuclear weapons. And the president's ability to exercise that authority and direction. Is insured by people processes and capabilities. That comprise the nuclear command and control system. This is a system controlled by human means nothing happens automatically. The nuclear decision process includes assessment review and consultation. Between the president and key civilian and military leaders. Followed by transmission and implementation of any presidential decision by the forces themselves. All activity surrounding nuclear weapons are characterized by layers of safeguards tests and reviews. Finally I think it's important to remember that the united states military doesn't blindly follow or worse. A presidential order to employ US nuclear weapons must be legal. The basic legal principles of military necessity distinction and proportionality. Applied nuclear weapons just as they do to every other weapon. This system is not a button that the president can accident in Leno against in on the desk. And immediately cause missiles to fly as some people in the public I think are a fear it would be. It requires the president to work with military aides who are attending him Manila who have possession of the materials that he needs an a requires. Personnel at all levels as strong man all the way down to the missile silo. To. Carry out and ordered the president by himself cannot press a button and cause missiles to fly. He can only given authenticated order which others would follow and then cause missiles fly. I don't think that the assurances that I've received today. Will be satisfying. I want to the American people I think they can still realize that Donald Trump. Can launch nuclear codes just as easily as he can uses Twitter account. Without the check and balance that the United States congress. Would be seeking and constitutionally responsible to exercise.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"2:42","description":"Witnesses at the hearing stressed that there are some checks.","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/Politics","id":"51151250","title":"Senate committee considers president's power to launch nuclear weapons","url":"/Politics/video/senate-committee-considers-presidents-power-launch-nuclear-weapons-51151250"}