Gen. John Hyten. Photo: Nati Harnik / AP

The top U.S. nuclear commander stirs an online ruckus by saying he'd resist a commander-in-chief's order for a nuclear strike if it were illegal.Why it matters: Needless to say, this isn't normal. The fact that this is even a topic of conversation reflects Trump anxiety among many former national-security officials, including some Republicans.The backdrop, via CNN: The "remarks come after a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing this week on the President's authority to launch nuclear weapons — the first such ... hearing in more than 40 years."Speaking yesterday at the Halifax International Security Forum in Nova Scotia, Canada, Gen. John Hyten, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM), which oversees nukes and missile defense, said what would happen if he were ordered to launch a nuclear strike (CNN, AP, Reuters):

  • "I provide advice to the President ... He'll tell me what to do, and if it's illegal, guess what's going to happen? I'm gonna say, 'Mr. President, that's illegal.'"
  • "Guess what he's going to do? He's going to say, 'What would be legal?' And we'll come up with options of a mix of capabilities to respond to whatever the situation is, and that's the way it works. It's not that complicated."
  • "I think some people think we're stupid. We're not stupid people. We think about these things a lot. When you have this responsibility, how do you not think about it?"
  • "If you execute an unlawful order, you will go to jail. You could go to jail for the rest of your life."

Go deeper

Trump ramps up culture war attacks

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Trump's attacks are spreading to sports that are cornerstones of rural, conservative white American life.

Why it matters: The culture war that engulfed the NBA and NFL is reaching other major leagues, with teams that stonewalled activists for years suddenly showing a willingness to listen.

Foreign students could be forced to leave U.S. if colleges move online

Harvard University campus in April 2020. Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Foreign college students could be forced to leave the U.S. or transfer schools if their universities move classes entirely online this fall, according to guidance released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Monday.

Why it matters: Several U.S. colleges and universities — most recently Harvard — have announced plans to move most or all courses online this fall due to coronavirus concerns. Many institutions rely heavily on tuition from international students.

Updated 57 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 11,520,461 — Total deaths: 535,453 — Total recoveries — 6,231,052Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 2,911,888 — Total deaths: 130,090 — Total recoveries: 906,763 — Total tested: 35,512,916Map.
  3. Public health: Case growth outpacing testing in hotspots.
  4. States: West Virginia becomes latest state to mandate facial coverings in public.
  5. Politics: Cuomo accuses Trump of "enabling" the coronavirus surge — Sen. Chuck Grassley opts out of attending GOP convention over coronavirus concerns.