Rep. Swalwell calls for help to stop Trump's 'lunacy' on North Korea

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US President Donald Trump in the Oval Office, December 22, 2017 (File photo by AFP)

US Congressman Eric Swalwell has urged House Republicans to support his effort to prevent President Donald Trump from starting a nuclear war with North Korea.

"If you love our country, help me put this lunacy in check,” Swalwell, a Democrat from California, said in a tweet.

Swalwell's tweet followed one by Trump in which he boasted to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un that the US nuclear button is "much bigger" and "more powerful" than that of Pyongyang.  

Rep. Eric Swalwell (file photo)

"Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!" he tweeted.

In a televised speech Monday, Kim suggested that his nuclear arsenal was now complete and that "the entire United States is within range of our nuclear weapons, and a nuclear button is always on my desk. This is reality, not a threat."

Analysts say Trump's outburst raised questions about how far the president appreciates the gravity of the escalating nuclear standoff with North Korea.

Adm. Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned Sunday that he believed the US was now closer to nuclear war than ever. 

Several Democrats have called on Congress to pass a measure that would stop Trump from launching a preemptive strike on North Korea without congressional approval.

Senator Ed Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts, said on Tuesday that Trump's threat of a nuclear strike "borders on presidential malpractice."

In recent months, North Korea has carried out multiple missile launches and its sixth and most powerful nuclear test involving a hydrogen bomb.

Pyongyang has repeatedly defended its weapons program as being defensive in nature and a deterrent against a possible invasion by the United States.

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