President Donald Trump's decision to name former Ambassador John Bolton as his national security adviser shows the president wants to go to war with North Korea, Rep. Joaquin Castro claimed Tuesday morning.
"It affirms to me the idea that if diplomacy fails with North Korea, this administration and this president have a desire to go to war with North Korea," the Texas Democrat told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
"I don't say that lightly. Based on everything I've seen in classified and unclassified documents, I believe this president wants to go to war with North Korea, and the appointment of Ambassador Bolton is to me an affirmation of that."
Bolton in the past has called for the United States to launch a preemptive strike on North Korea. After Trump named him to replace Gen. H.R. McMaster as his national security adviser, Bolton said his past comments are "behind" him, CNN reports, but Castro said he is concerned, based on what he's seen.
And if bombs are launched, that could lead to the deaths of South Koreans and Americans in the region, said Castro.
"You're talking about, at minimum, hundreds of thousands of people dead, if not millions of people," said Castro. "That's what's at stake here."
Castro added that it's hard to tell if he or his colleagues would be able to pass a law or resolution that would stop Trump from launching a preventive or preemptive military strike against North Korea without specific congressional authorization.
"It's hard to say whether something like that would pass but it's certainly something we should talk about and pursue in the Congress, absolutely," Castro said. "I think this president based on everything that I've seen and heard is determined at some point to go to war with North Korea."
Congress would also have a responsibility to speak up should Bolton provide incorrect intelligence information to Trump, said Castro.
"Really, it's the responsibility of people in both parties without regard to party," said Castro. "
Those who have a link to the White House need to be making the case to the president and folks at the White House, but ultimately there has to be a check and balance on the president who is determined to go to war."
He said it would also be good to see people around Trump who "aren't just yes men or women."
"The clearing of the White House, whether it be Secretary [Rex] Tillerson, Gen. McMaster and others, is that the president is clearing out anybody who isn't subservient, obsequious to him," the congressman said.
Meanwhile, Castro participated in a "day of unity" Monday with Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and told the "Morning Joe" program that he believes gerrymandering has gotten bad enough that there are lawmakers representing districts where they only have to please "basically primary voters."
"I'm having a town hall on April 3 where I've invited specifically people that disagree with me because I want to hear the other side of the argument, so it's almost exclusively for people who disagree with me," said Castro. "I think we need to do more."
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