Obama deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes slammed President Trump's North Korea rhetoric Wednesday, describing it as "destabilizing" and "amateurish."
"This is the most dangerous flashpoint in the world, so every word that a president speaks about North Korea is usually carefully crafted and vetted with the secretary of defense, with the secretary of state," Rhodes told MSNBC. "Frankly, we would preview any new language with our allies. And clearly it seems, in this case, that none of that happened."
Rhodes, who served as Obama's foreign policy speechwriter from 2007 until the end of his presidency, said Trump's "fire and fury" statement on Tuesday during a briefing about the country's opioid crisis was "an incredibly destabilizing statement."
Rhodes responded to speculation that it was the administration's attempt to communicate to China through the media, calling it "amateurish" if that was the way in which they intended to send a message to Beijing.
While acknowledging that three different presidents had failed to rein in North Korea, Rhodes also hit back at Trump's tweet on modernizing and upgrading the United States' nuclear arsenal, claiming it was "physically impossible" to overhaul the program in six months.
"Frankly, we've seen him make extreme statements and false statements about all manner of things," Rhodes said. "It's more concerning when you're talking about nuclear weapons."