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Top nuclear commander: I wouldn't carry out an 'illegal' nuclear strike order from Trump

Top nuclear commander: I wouldn't carry out an 'illegal' nuclear strike order from Trump

The top nuclear commander in the U.S. said Saturday he would refuse an order to conduct a nuclear strike from President Trump if he thought the launch was illegal.

Air Force Gen. John Hyten, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, said at the Halifax International Security Forum in Halifax, Nova Scotia, that he would tell Trump he couldn’t carry out an illegal strike, CBS News reported.

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"And if it's illegal, guess what's going to happen? I'm going to say, 'Mr. President, that's illegal.' And guess what he's going to do? He's going to say, 'What would be legal?’ ” Hyten said.

“And we'll come [with] up options, with a mix of capabilities to respond to whatever the situation is, and that's the way it works. It's not that complicated."

Hyten said that he has often thought of what he would say if ordered to carry out an unlawful strike, adding that if he followed an illegal order, “You could go to jail for the rest of your life.”

“I think some people think we're stupid," Hyten said. "We're not stupid people. We think about these things a lot. When you have this responsibility, how do you not think about it?"

Hyten made his comments after Trump has repeatedly attacked North Korea over the country’s nuclear threats.

Trump recently returned from a 12-day trip to Asia, during which he discussed North Korea with world leaders.

In August, the president promised to unleash “fire and fury” on North Korea if the country did not stop its threats against the U.S.