Frank Wuco, who The Washington Post reports recently became a senior adviser for the State Department's Bureau of Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance, once said it was his "preference" to have the US drop "a couple of low-yield tactical nuclear weapons over Afghanistan the day after 9/11 to send a definite message to the world that they had screwed up in a big way."
As of the past year, two officials told The Post, Wuco works in the State Department's arms-control bureau to "control the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction."
During his media appearances over the years, Wuco breathed new life into the unfounded "birther" conspiracy, also advocated by Donald Trump before he took office, that President Barack Obama was not born in the US.
News of Wuco's new position comes as the future of US arms treaties, specifically the New START accords with Russia, is uncertain.
A senior Trump official who advanced the racist "birther" conspiracy about President Barack Obama is now working in the State Department's arms-control unit to "control the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction," two officials told The Washington Post in a report on Wednesday.
Frank Wuco, who The Post says as of the past year became a senior adviser for the State Department's Bureau of Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance after a stint in the Department of Homeland Security, previously worked as a conservative media personality and appeared on numerous TV and radio shows, including Fox News.
During his media appearances over the years, Wuco breathed new life into the birther conspiracy, also pushed by Donald Trump before he took office, that Obama was not born in the US.
"While he was senator, before he ran for president, they invested over $1 million in legal fees," Wuco said, referring to Obama in 2012, according to CNN. "There is a mechanism for having records legally sealed and the person who is in the White House right now has all the following records are sealed: his baptismal records, his birth records, his actually, his student application records to the prep school that he went to in Hawaii — which is one of the most well-heeled prep schools in Honolulu, which is not an inexpensive place to live."
In 2017, over 40 hours of material were combed through by CNN's investigative team, much of which included other baseless conspiracy theories, including a claim that former CIA Director John Brennan converted to Islam and that former Attorney General Eric Holder was once a member of the Black Panthers.
A spokesman for the DHS, where Wuco was then working, reportedly described CNN's findings as "years-old comments cherry picked from thousands of hours."
Yet as The Post noted, some of Wuco's prior inflammatory comments involve foreign policy, including the use of nuclear weapons, prompting concern in light of his position at the State Department bureau that describes itself as "responsible for deterring conflict." In 2016, Wuco said in a radio show that it was his "preference" to have the US drop "a couple of low-yield tactical nuclear weapons over Afghanistan the day after 9/11 to send a definite message to the world that they had screwed up in a big way," The Post said.
The future of US arms treaties, specifically the New START accords with Russia, is uncertain. The treaty, which limits the amount of strategic nuclear warheads to 1,550, is scheduled to expire in February 2021. Russia argues it is too late to negotiate a viable replacement for the treaty.
"It's already obvious that with the time that is left ... we will not be able to work out a full-fledged replacement document," Russian media outlets quoted Vladimir Leontyev, a Foreign Ministry official, as saying.
Trump previously said he opposed New START, and US officials said he would not make a decision on an extension until 2020.