Rep. Keith Ellison, the vice chair of the Democratic National Committee, told activists at the progressive Netroots Nation conference that President Trump was acting less responsibly than North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and that antiwar activism needs to ramp up as the president's rhetoric has.
Immediately after making the comment, Ellison regretted it and tried to retract his words.
"You have this guy making bellicose threats against somebody else who has very little to lose over there", said Ellison (D-Minn.). North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wants world recognition for his regime and the US needs to stop backing him into a corner. And what I'm telling you is once you start seeing missile launches, you're going to see-the time for cranking up the anti-war machine is right now.
Gasps could be heard from the crowd of left-wing activists when Ellison made his remarks.
"That was one of those I wish I'd not said", Ellison said.
And just days before that, the president promised to unleash "fire and fury" on the tin-pot country, should dictator Kim Jong Un continue to make unwelcome advances against the United States.
Things are quickly heating up between the USA and North Korea, and there are no signs it will slow down after the Pentagon said Friday the military stands ready to "fight tonight", if necessary.
The long-standing anti-nuclear campaigner said: "We don't need a world with nuclear weapons, and there's no such thing as an isolated nuclear strike and so we need to ratchet down the rhetoric... on both sides". Democrats appear to be playing a risky game of using the threat of nuclear war as a way to tear down Trump.
After the conference, Ellison told the Washington Post that he probably shouldn't have made his point that way and immediately knew it could be used as as attack against him.