Democratic lawmakers urge Tillerson to stop Trump's NK threats

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Within hours, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who happened to be in Guam, clarified Trump's remarks, dialing back some of Trump's harsh rhetoric, suggesting that the United States will not attack first, and would act only if North Korea initiated an attack themselves.

Humphrey, who vehemently opposed Trump in last year's election, said the president's comments threatening North Korea with "fire and fury" show that he is "impaired by a seriously sick psyche" and could lead the nation into nuclear war.

"It is the job of Secretary Mattis, the Secretary of Defense, to talk about the military options".

Trump said on Tuesday the USA would rain "fire and fury" on North Korea, which some said could "only be interpreted" as a nuclear threat.

"North Korea has said they wish to annihilate the United States and use nuclear weapons". "He said, 'Woe betide anyone who militarily challenges the United States, ' and that is his portfolio".

The lawmakers warned that Congress and the American people will hold Trump responsible if a "careless or ill-advised miscalculation results in conflict that endangers our service members and our regional allies".

GORKA: Absolutely, absolutely. No, I never said that, I said for reporters to force our chief diplomat, the wonderful Rex Tillerson to give details of military options is nonsensical.

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"Is that what the United Kingdom would do if a nation threatened a nuclear-tipped missile launch against any of the UK's territories?"

The State Department spokeswoman said she wouldn't comment directly on Gorka's remarks, but noted that Tillerson and Mattis have a close working relationship.

Asked again if Tillerson should be listened to, Nauert said, "I think that everyone has clearly heard what Secretary Tillerson's forceful comments have been and have continued to be on DPRK".

"He's a cabinet secretary", Nauert said.

Q Mr. President, you've said you want to send a strong message to North Korea.

In response to a question about the administration's mixed messaging, Trump argued there was no contradiction. "And I will tell you this, North Korea better get their act together or they are going to be in trouble like few nations have ever been in trouble".

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