President Trump Wrongly Criticizes Treaty that Limits Russian Nukes Aimed at U.S.


President Trump’s criticism of New START ignores essential facts about the benefits of the bilateral treaty, including how the treaty strengthens U.S. national security through verifiable nuclear weapons reductions and increased transparency.


Hazel Correa
202.546.0795 x2115

Washington, DC – According to media reports, President Donald Trump criticized the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), a bilateral nuclear arms control agreement between the United States and Russia, during his first call with Russian President Vladimir Putin. During the phone call, Mr. Trump reportedly told Mr. Putin that New START favors Russia and was not a good deal for the United States.

In response, Former Congressman John Tierney, the Executive Director of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, commented,

““The New START agreement is one of history’s more important arms control treaties. It caps the number of strategic nuclear warheads the United States and Russia can deploy and facilitates nuclear transparency between both superpowers. Without this treaty, Russia would have no limits on its nuclear weapons program and, accordingly, American national security would be severely weakened.”

Mr. Tierney added, “New START was ratified with bipartisan support in the United States Senate, while nuclear arms control has been a bipartisan priority since the end of the Cold War. By denouncing New START, President Trump is playing a dangerous game that puts US-Russia relations and the American people at risk.”

Ambassador Thomas Graham, Jr., an arms control expert on the Center’s National Advisory Board who was involved with numerous arms control agreements over a 30-year career, said,

“New START is overwhelmingly in the interest of both parties, the U.S. and Russia, as strategic arms limitations treaties must be in order to be viable. It has long been the policy of the United States that it is in our interest to continue reducing the number of nuclear weapons that exist in the world under appropriate safeguards. This is precisely what the New START treaty does.”

Former Senator Byron L. Dorgan, a member of the Center’s National Advisory Board, commented,

“The New Start Treaty continues to be a major accomplishment in capping the deployment of nuclear weapons in both the U.S. and Russia. I was on a U. S. Senate Oversight group that received periodic briefings on the negotiations that led up to the 2010 treaty, and frankly President Trump is just flat wrong when he claims the treaty favors Russia.”

Senator Dorgan continued, “It is urgent that the U.S. and Russia continue to work on agreements to reduce the number and stop the spread of nuclear weapons. President Trump has the opportunity to extend New START by five years, which President Putin reportedly brought up in their bilateral phone call. The President continues to talk about ‘keeping America safe.’ Extending New START would be a major step in that direction.”

Congressman John F. Tierney, Senator Byron L. Dorgan, and Ambassador Thomas Graham are available for further comment and broadcast bookings by contacting Hazel Correa at 202.546.0795 X 2115 or 

The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation is a national non-partisan, non-profit dedicated to enhancing peace and security through expert policy analysis and thought-provoking research. Since 1980, the Center’s expertise on reducing the threats of war and nuclear weapons has been sought by the media and policymakers – supported by the tax-deductible contributions of foundations and individuals.