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Leon Panetta Sounds the Alarm on North Korea: Biggest Crisis Facing U.S. Since Cuban Missile Crisis

On Friday, former Secretary of State Leon Panetta reacted to President Trump‘s latest remarks on ongoing tensions with North Korea. And he’s sounding the alarms.

“We’re dealing with probably the most serious crisis involving a potential nuclear war since the Cuban Missile Crisis.” a visbily emotional Panetta told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “And it’s a time, frankly, where we need a president to speak in a steady and calm and stable and responsible way. Because the rhetoric that’s going on is simply fueling this situation and creating something that concerns me — which is that at some point there is a miscalculation. There is a mistake by someone in North Korea or someone in South Korea or someone elsewhere that suddenly has us into a war on the Korean peninsula. I really do think that what is required now is a lessening of this rhetoric and allow our actions to speak for the United States, not our words.”

Panetta, who served under Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama in various roles, said he believes Trump backed himself in a corner for using such rhetoric like saying that the U.S. military was “locked and loaded.”

“I think the important thing right now is to recognize, as we all do, that the United States of America is the most powerful country on the face of the Earth,” he continued.  “And, very frankly, that power says a lot to North Korea and to others around the world. We don’t really need to have a president who challenges other countries with words like “fire and fury” and “lock and load.” What we need now is a president who can provide some assurance to the American people, and to the world, that they will do everything necessary to find some kind of peaceful solution to this terrible crisis that we’re confronting.”

Panetta also weighed in on Trump’s comments regarding possible military intervention in Venezuela, which he said was the “last thing we need.”

He added, soberly, “I’m concerned, Wolf.”

Watch the clip above, via CNN.

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