The Trump administration sent mixed messages Wednesday over the possibility of nuclear war with North Korea, as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sought to defuse tensions, while Defense Secretary James Mattis threatened a nuclear attack. On Wednesday, Mattis warned North Korea not to take any action that could result in the "end of its regime" and the "destruction of its people." His comments came a day after Trump startled the world—and, reportedly, his own advisers—threatening North Korea with "fire and fury like the world has never seen." Secretary of State Tillerson on Wednesday downplayed Trump’s rhetoric.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson: "I think Americans should sleep well at night, have no concerns about this particular rhetoric of the last few days. I think the president, again, as commander-in-chief—I think he felt it necessary to issue a very strong statement directly to North Korea."