Reports: Trump denounces Obama-era nuclear deal during call with Putin
During his first phone call as president with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump denounced the New START treaty, according to unnamed US officials.
The treaty, signed between the US and Russia in 2010, limits the number of nuclear warheads deployed by both countries.
The White House hasn't released the details of Trump's phone call with Putin.
What the deal entails
The New START treaty gives both the US and Russia time until February 2018 to reduce their deployed strategic nuclear warheads to 1,550 or less. This is the lowest nuclear deployment in decades de-escalating risks of unwinnable nuclear conflict.
Not the first time Trump slammed deal negotiated by Obama
Putin had asked Trump on the prospects of extending the 2010 treaty.
Trump replied saying the treaty was one of the bad deals the Obama administration negotiated, adding that it gave Russia an advantage.
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Trump previously voiced opposition against treaty
During the election campaign, Trump had said Russia "outsmarted" the US over the treaty. He stated that it would allow only Russia to expand its nuclear arsenal.
Trump faces criticism for opposing treaty
"New START has unquestionably made our country safer, an opinion widely shared by national security experts on both sides of the aisle," said Democratic senator Jeanne Shaheen.
"Unfortunately, Mr. Trump appears to be clueless about the value of this key nuclear risk reduction treaty and the unique dangers of nuclear weapons," said the Arms Control Association.
Trump reportedly didn't know what the treaty was
Trump reportedly paused to ask his aides what the START treaty was, when Putin brought it up, raising concerns that Trump may not be sufficiently prepared while speaking to foreign leaders.
The US president is normally briefed by several government agencies before such calls.
The White House said Trump knew about the treaty and paused to ask his aides for their opinion.