Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) called tactical nuclear weapons "tactile" twice Friday during a meet-and-greet in New Hampshire.
Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, spoke at Flight Coffee in Dover, where she discussed her opposition to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019.
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"We used to say we don't worry about a first strike because a first strike would end in complete devastation of the person who fired nuclear weapons," Gillibrand said. "When you say you want to develop low-yield nuclear weapons that are tactile, what you're saying is you want to use them."
She later used the term "tactile" again when talking about her opposition to the defense bill. She said that she found it "not believable" when the Trump administration said that if nuclear weapons were usable, then they were a better threat. She said she opposed the entire defense bill because of that one provision.
"If I am president, I am going to make sure we unwind that completely, and I don't think we should be trying to create tactile nuclear weapons. Not only is it a waste of money, but it increases the risk of actually using them," Gillibrand said.
Gillibrand, who recently announced that she was running for president, went on to say she was "alarmed" by President Donald Trump having access to nuclear weapons and she doesn't believe any president should have "the right to fire a nuclear weapon preemptively."
"I think it is hugely problematic and will result in a world war. It will result in a World War III, and it will result in millions of innocent people dying, and I don't think that is consistent with our values of the country," Gillibrand said.