As Tillerson Downplays North Korea Threat, White House Continues to Escalate Tensions

So much for sleeping well at night.

As Secretary of State Rex Tillerson attempted to downplay any “imminent” threat of war with North Korea, White House adviser Sebastian Gorka on Wednesday continued to fan the flames with a starkly different message that mirrored the president’s pugnacious remarks the day before.

“He’s saying don’t test America, and don’t test Donald J. Trump,” Gorka said on Fox & Friends. “We are not just a superpower. We were a superpower—we are now a hyperpower. Nobody in the world, especially not North Korea, comes close to challenging our military capabilities, whether they’re conventional, nuclear, or whether they’re special forces.”

He added, “The message is very clear: Don’t test this White House.” 

Gorka’s warning comes amid heightened fears of potential war with North Korea, after President Donald Trump on Tuesday promised to unleash “fire and fury” in retaliation against North Korea’s ongoing threats against the United States and its allies. Trump’s remarks were swiftly condemned by lawmakers and foreign policy experts, who warned the president’s rhetoric could aggravate the already volatile situation.

Tillerson on Wednesday defended Trump’s comments, claiming there were no signs that any looming threat from North Korea had “dramatically changed” over the past 24 hours. “Americans should sleep well at night,” he told reporters on Wednesday. 

Meanwhile, North Korea announced it is considering a military strike on Guam, where the United States maintains major military bases. 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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