CNN: Military Not Happy With Clinton Talking About Nuclear Launch Times

October 20, 2016

CNN's Barbara Starr reported Thursday that the U.S. military is unhappy with Hillary Clinton discussing nuclear weapon launch times during Wednesday night's presidential debate, calling such information "extremely classified."

Clinton said during the debate there is a period of approximately four minutes from a presidential order to launch nuclear weapons to when the launch occurs. Her campaign also tweeted her comment.

Starr reported that the Pentagon would not officially comment on Clinton's remarks since they occurred during a political campaign. However, many officials who spoke to Starr off-camera said they were not happy with Clinton's comments due to the secure nature of what she was discussing.

"We went to the military this morning and asked them. A military spokesman told us that they do not discuss operational timelines for launching nuclear weapons," Starr said. "This is some of the most classified information. I asked Defense Secretary Ash Carter at a press conference earlier today. He declined to answer the question because it involved politics."

"Is it really classified? There's a lot of open-source information about, you know, publicly available information on the internet about what is involved in launching nuclear weapons, and when we asked the Clinton campaign, they sent us a number of citations of that publicly available information," Starr said.

"But here is the bottom line: the U.S. military does not discuss the precise specifics of the time frames of launching nuclear weapons that, by all accounts, is extremely classified," Starr continued. "And if you know information to be classified and you're a government official, even if it's in the open source, even if it's on the internet, you are not supposed to disclose it."

Starr mentioned how unhappy the military is about Clinton's comment.

"The bottom line is the U.S. military [is] not especially thrilled to be discussing in precise detail what it takes to launch nuclear weapons," Starr said.

"With 70 million people watching," host Brooke Baldwin added, referring to those who watched the debate.