CNN's April Ryan Says Trump's Proposal to Nuke Hurricanes Is Based on Racial Animus

August 27th, 2019 6:11 PM

The unanimously anti-Trump panel on Monday’s New Day melted down at President Trump’s alleged far-fetched suggestion to use nuclear weapons to stop hurricanes headed towards the United States. While everyone on the panel laughed off at the idea, CNN political analyst April Ryan took it a step further by declaring that the desire to nuke hurricanes off the coast of Africa is motivated by racial animus.

As she reacted to President Trump’s alleged proposal, CNN political commentator Angela Rye told her fellow panelists: “I keep wanting you all to wake me up and tell me this is a very long, terrible, bad dream. But it’s real. It’s the real thing.”



After CNN political commentator Bakari Sellers suggested that President Trump got the idea from Sharknado, co-host Alisyn Camerota pointed out that the idea of using nuclear weapons to stop hurricanes was floated during the Eisenhower administration. Camerota used her reference as an excuse to remind the audience that the 1950s is “where President Trump gets a lot of his ideas about...when America was sort of at its best.”

When Sellers and Ryan referred to President Trump as “the leader of the free world,” Rye was  triggered, telling Sellers to “stop calling him that. Call him something else.” It seemed like Rye was just as triggered by “leader of the free world” to describe Trump as she is at the sight of a Make America Great Again hat, which she once compared to a KKK hood. For her part, Ryan reminded Rye that “he’s the President of the United States,” whether she wants to admit it or not; to which Rye replied “he’s supposed to be.”

Ryan addressed the reporting on President Trump’s supposed plan by describing how hurricanes “start forming off the coast of Africa, as they’re moving across the Atlantic, we drop a bomb inside the eye of the hurricane and it disrupts it.”

The CNN carnival barker then proceeded to suggest President Trump had a more sinister motive for wanting to use nuclear weapons off the coast of Africa: “He brought in Africa...As we were talking during break, he's called Africa a sh**hole nation...And what part of Africa are you talking about? Sub-Saharan Africa, where there are mostly black people?”

While obsession over President Trump’s suggestion of nuking hurricanes took up most of the segment, the conversation ended with the 2020 Democratic field as Camerota favorably contrasted the Democratic candidates with the President: “While we’re talking about Sharknado…so many people…on the Democratic side are dealing with real policy.”

Sellers lamented the fact that “we are not going to have a substantive debate during the race for president of the United States.” That's interesting since CNN has indicated that they have no desire for a substantive policy debate either. From obsessing over President Trump’s fitness for office to fixating on his alleged proposal for dealing with hurricanes, CNN has made it clear they want the 2020 election to be a referendum on President Trump’s personality and nothing else.

A transcript of the relevant portion of Monday’s edition of New Day is below. Click “expand” to read more.

CNN's New Day With Alisyn Camerota and John Berman


06:40 a.m. Eastern

JOHN BERMAN: The President is denying a report in Axios this morning that says he was considering, or musing, or asking, I should say, about using nuclear weapons to stop hurricanes headed toward the United States of America. Back with us, April Ryan, Angela Rye, Andrew Gillum, and Bakari Sellers. Angela, I want to start with you here because you came in this morning talking about this.



RYE: Why, John? Look, I just…I mean…just, honestly, like, everybody on set just laughed. I mean this is…this is so ridiculous. I keep wanting you all to wake me up and tell me this was a very long, terrible, bad dream, but it’s real. It’s a real thing. And that’s…it’s news…


RYE: …that he’s nuking…

BAKARI SELLERS: …but can I just say that this…

RYE: … he wants to nuke hurricanes coming off the coast of Africa, Bakari.

SELLERS: …this actually worked before, guys. And we do need to recognize that.


ANDREW GILLUM: What part? Wait, wait, wait.

APRIL RYAN: Yes, talk to us about that.

SELLERS: It was “Sharknado.” In “Sharknado”…

GILLUM: Oh, geez, man.


RYE: Well, that’s…that’s…those are his facts. Those are his facts.

GILLUM: That’s true.

SELLERS: This is…this is taken from “Sharknado” and I do want you to know…

GILLUM: Do you know what, the sad part is…

RYAN: Well, is it really taken from “Sharknado”?

GILLUM: …it’s probably, it’s probably true.

CAMEROTA: Well, this was an idea that was floated during the Eisenhower administration in the 1950s.

GILLUM: We’ve learned a lot more.

CAMEROTA: Where President Trump gets a lot of his…

RYE: Allegedly.

CAMEROTA: …ideas about what…you know, when America was sort of at its best basically.

RYE: Yes.

CAMEROTA: Here’s what Axios is reporting.


CAMEROTA: And, by the way, this…you know, he’s denying it, but this is what was recorded in the National Security Council memorandum that recorded the comments when it happened.

RYE: Which means that might be factually based.


RYE: Imagine that.

CAMEROTA: In real time.

RYE: Yeah.

CAMEROTA: Here’s what Axios is reporting. “During one hurricane briefing at the White House, Trump said, ‘I got it, I got it. Why don’t we nuke them?’” According to the source who was there. “‘They start forming off the coast of Africa, as they move across…”

RYAN: There we go.

CAMEROTA: …“the Atlantic…”

RYE: I’m telling you.


CAMEROTA: “‘We drop a bomb inside the eye of the hurricane and it disrupts it. Why can’t we do that?’” This source paraphrased the President’s remarks that, as we said were reported.

SELLERS: I mean, listen, it worked in “Sharknado.” He wants to give it an opportunity, give it a chance. It’s not science based. This all ties into what we were talking about in an earlier segment. We have a…the leader of the free world who does not believe in science.

RYAN: But let…

RYE: Stop calling him that. Stop calling him that.

RYAN: But let me say this. I know we’re tongue and…

RYE: Stop calling him that. Call him something else.

RYAN: …we’re tongue and cheeking this, but this is the President…

RYE: It’s not funny.

RYAN: …of the United States saying something about that. And he brought in Africa. As Angela…as we were talking during break, he’s called Africa a shit hole nation. It’s actually a country…

RYE: Well, he’s called some of the countries.

RYAN: Some of the countries.

RYE: Yeah.

RYAN: Africa is a continent. And what part of Africa are you talking about? Sub-Saharan Africa, where there are mostly black people? This is just crazy. There is a ripple effect that could happen for land, sea, for people, if he did something like this. For this man to think this. This is the leader of the free world. There should be some…

RYE: Stop calling…

RYAN: Well, he’s the President of the United States, Angela.

RYE: He’s supposed to be. He’s supposed to be.

RYAN: He is the person who…

RYE: He’s supposed to be.

RYAN: …anything he does and says impacts people, impacts the globe.

RYE: Until…until we don’t…

RYAN: And his…

RYE: …let it.

RYAN: There needs to be someone who vets what he says because…

BERMAN: I will note…

RYAN: …this is dangerous.

BERMAN: …if only there were some part of the government that was full of scientists that could check this.


BERMAN: There is.

CAMEROTA: Is there?


RYE: There is! Imagine…


BERMAN: NOAA actually…

RYAN: Who’s NOAA, Bakari?

BERMAN: NOAA actually has…

GILLUM: I feel bad for the head of NOAA. Basically you have…

BERMAN: But they have…this is something…

GILLUM: It’s over.

BERMAN: This is…this is one of these conspiracy theories or ideas that’s been around for decades.


BERMAN: So, NOAA actually has said things about bombing hurricanes before. And this is what it says. “Apart from the fact that this might not even alter the storm, this approach neglects the problem that the released radioactive fallout would fairly quickly…”

RYAN: There you go.

BERMAN: “…move with the tradewinds to affect land areas and cause devastating environmental problems…”

RYAN: Exactly.

BERMAN: “…Needless to say…”

RYE: (INAUDIBLE) radioactive fallout.

BERMAN: Says the U.S. government.

RYAN: Exactly.

BERMAN: “This is not a good idea.”

GILLUM: So, a supersized hurricane that now has radioactive ingredients…

RYE: Well, yes.

GILLUM: …that could kill people and obliterate?

RYAN: We haven’t learned from agent orange?

BERMAN: I think we’ve probably given this as much time as…

GILLUM: Well, we probably have except…

RYAN: We haven’t learned from agent orange?

GILLUM: …except I’m going to predict this. The head of NOAA, should the White House have anything to do with who that is, may want to start looking for another job, because this President will not like…

RYAN: So what, that he’s telling the truth.

GILLUM: …to be contradicted.


RYAN: You should not be penalized for telling the truth.

GILLUM: No, I agree.

RYAN: You should not be penalized for telling the truth.

RYE: (INAUDIBLE). You have…

GILLUM: …we agree. (INAUDIBLE).

RYE: We’re not fighting.

RYAN: No, we’re not fighting. We’re not fighting here, but I’m so upset…

GILLUM: We agree.

RYE: You’re fighting somebody.

CAMEROTA: I think…

RYAN: I’m upset.

CAMEROTA: That April’s point is that, why does NOAA even have to issue a statement?



BERMAN: Was this a new statement or was this something about…

CAMEROTA: I don’t know, we’ll find out…

BERMAN: …they have on their website.

CAMEROTA: …what year it is.


CAMEROTA: But I guess the point is, is that when you’re anti-science, there are ludicrous things said and then it does force the rest of the world, the people who are serious minded, to sort of swing into action…

RYAN: That’s right.

CAMEROTA: …to try to contain the damage. And we’ve seen that with the economy. We’ve seen that now with science.

BERMAN: Just to be clear, this is not a new statement. This is something that NOAA has available on its website…


BERMAN: In case people wonder about bombing hurricanes.

GILLUM: Well, they better be ready.

RYAN: But the reason why I guess…the reason…no, I’m not going to say I guess. The reason why it means so much to me is because I’ve covered four Presidents. I’ve seen everything come to the White House, from war to peace and everything in between. And they have been very serious. They’ve done the best that they know how to do as President. This President is taking it like it’s a joke. People are…

RYAN: No, I think this is his truth. I think this is him being serious. I hate to…I hate to break it to you, but I think this is him being serious.

RYAN: Oh, God…

RYE: Look at his tweets.

RYE: I need your shoulder to lie on.

CAMEROTA: Should we move on to what the 2020 Democrats are suggesting…

SELLERS: They’re better than this.

CAMEROTA: …as alternatives?

GILLUM: I know they’re not suggesting any nuclear…


GILLUM: …hurricane.

CAMEROTA: …I mean just in terms of the whole panoply of the things that they’re suggesting because last night we had some CNN town halls with Governor…

RYE: Yes.

CAMEROTA: …Steve Bullock, as well as Mayor Bill de Blasio, both running for President. And so, of course, the issue of health care, which is so hotly debated, came up. So, here is a moment with Governor Bullock.


GOV. STEVE BULLOCK (D-MT): The greatest stride that we’ve made since Medicaid and Medicare was Obamacare. I want to build on that, not start all over. And I think you can do that with a public option. I don’t want to take away 165 million people that have employer-sponsored health care.

MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D-NY): We’re saying very simply, because we have these wonderful public hospitals and clinics, we’re saying there should not be a…such a thing as a family that can’t go to the doctor. We’re giving people a healthcare card. We’re saying we’re going to assign you a primary care doctor, a family doctor, in one of our public hospitals or clinics so you actually have some place to turn from the very beginning and get the care you need.


CAMEROTA: And, Bakari, herein lies the challenge for Democrats. While we’re talking about “Sharknado” and the President is issuing various edicts, heretofore, forthwith, that…that these…I mean so many people…

RYE: Come on, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: …on the, on the Democratic side are dealing with real policy; which is, frankly, a little drier than “Sharknado.”


CAMEROTA: And this is what they have to contend with for the next 14 months…

GILLUM: Literally dry.

CAMEROTA: … of this conflict.

SELLERS: So, this is…this is…this is both the challenge and, for all of us at the table, somewhat hopeful in the same sense because you have Mayor Bill de Blasio and Steve Bullock. And although neither one of them probably will make it to the final four…I don’t even know if either one of them will make it to Iowa, they’re having a substantive debate about how to provide more health care to individuals in this country, period. I mean they…whether or not you agree with how they want to do it, they’re having a substantive debate. We are not going to have a substantive debate during the race for President of the United States. Donald Trump is going to be on one side of the stage with a vat of identity politics, as Chris Cuomo always says, and he’s going to be ready to bludgeon you with that. And, yes, it’s not going to be about who has the best policy. And…and that is what Democrats are going to have to deal with. And what we have to be cautious to do is not necessarily breathe life into the things that tear our country apart. And that is…this ties…this ties into the Joe Walshes of the world and the Scaramuccis and all of those other things because we need to have a great conversation about how to bring our country together and whether or not that's Donald Trump or not. whereby he wants to…

RYE: It’s not. It’s not.

SELLERS: He wants to tear the country apart. Narrator says that’s not.