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Media Claims Trump ‘Revealed’ Nuclear Sub Locations, But Everyone Likely Already Knew

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Some members of the media are criticizing President Donald Trump for “leaking” the locations of U.S. nuclear subs to President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte in late April, but the information was made public.

A leaked transcript of Trump’s phone conversation with Duterte on April 29 revealed that the U.S. president disclosed that the military had nuclear submarines near the Korean Peninsula. “We have a lot of firepower there,” Trump told the president of the Philippines, a long-time U.S. ally, “We have two nuclear submarines, not that we want to use them.”

“Underplayed from Trump-Duterte call: he told Duterte we have 2 nuclear submarines near N. Korea. That’s … not usually something we talk about,” NBC News’ Bradd Jaffy tweeted Wednesday.

Huffington Post ran the headline: “Trump Revealed Location Of U.S. Nuclear Subs In Call With Duterte.” It followed with the question: “Can this man be trusted with state secrets?”

Reuters reported that Trump’s comments are “likely to raise questions about his handling of sensitive information.”

While there is the possibility Trump was talking about nuclear-armed submarines, the “two nuclear submarines” to which the president was most likely referring were the USS Michigan and the USS Cheyenne, both of which were in the general area last month.

The Navy revealed on April 25 that the nuclear-powered, Ohio-class submarine USS Michigan (SSGN 727) arrived in Busan, South Korea for a port call and to strengthen the partnership with the South Korean Navy.

Videos of the Michigan were released online by news outlets.

WATCH:

The Navy revealed on May 2 the Los-Angeles class nuclear attack submarine USS Cheyenne (SSN 773) arrived in Sasebo, Japan for a visit as part of its Indo-Pacific deployment. While the information was released after the Duterte call, the details of the call had not yet been leaked, so it can be assumed that the released statement was planned and not a reaction to Trump’s disclosures.

More importantly, though, the president had already introduced that the U.S. military was sending heavily-armed submarines to the peninsula in an earlier interview with Fox. “We are sending an armada, very powerful. We have submarines, very powerful, far more powerful than the aircraft carrier,” Trump told the FOX Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo on April 12. “We have the best military people on Earth.”

In all cases, the president, who has the ultimate authority on sensitive information, did not reveal any specific details about the submarines, such as their exact locations, their names, or their armaments.

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