In face of nuclear threats, Trump predicts Guam will see ‘tenfold’ rise in tourism

There are thousands of people living in Guam.

Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo. Credit: AP Photo/Sang Tan, File
Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo. Credit: AP Photo/Sang Tan, File

In a call Friday with Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo (R), President Donald Trump assured him that the White House is “with you 1,000 percent” following North Korea’s threat of nuclear attack. Then, in signature Trump fashion, the president added that Guam could soon see a “tenfold” increase in tourism.

In a video of the conversation with the president posted by Gov. Calvo’s office, Trump can be heard predicting Guam’s growth in tourism following his assurance that he would keep Guam safe.

“I just wanted to pay my respects, and we are with you 1,000 percent. You are safe,” Trump said over the phone, according to a video posted on social media.

“Mr. President, as the governor of Guam representing the people of Guam, and as an American citizen, I have never felt more safe or confident with you at the helm,” Gov. Calvo said. “I am so thankful and I’m glad you’re holding the helm.”


“Don’t worry about a thing,” President Trump responded, saying someone with his “thought process” should have become president eight years ago. “Eddie, I have to tell you, you’re going to become extremely famous. All over the world they’re talking about Guam and they’re talking about you.”

“And your tourism, I can say this, your tourism is going to go up like tenfold with the expenditure of no money, so I congratulate you,” Trump added. “It looks beautiful, you know I’m watching — it’s such a big story in the news. It just looks like a beautiful place.”

On Saturday, the White House issued a press release of the conversation, making no mention of Trump’s prediction of Guam’s tourism.

President Donald J. Trump spoke yesterday with Guam Governor Eddie Calvo. President Trump reassured Governor Calvo and our fellow Americans on Guam that United States forces stand ready to ensure the safety and security of the people of Guam, along with the rest of America. White House Chief of Staff John Kelly spoke separately to Governor Calvo earlier in the day.

Trump’s focus on Guam’s tourism seems relatively tone deaf at a time when North Korea has said it could fit nuclear warheads on missiles. The country has also indicated to move ahead with plans to preemptively bomb Guam by mid-August. There are currently at least 6,000 American troops and thousands of civilians living on Guam, with public safety officials issuing guidance to prepare residents for a nuclear attack.


These are fraught times, with tensions between the United States and North Korea escalating in recent days with both countries threatening to obliterate the lives of millions of people using nuclear weapons. North Korean President Kim Jung Un specifically cited targeting the Pacific island of Guam with “enveloping fire.” In response, President Donald Trump has not stood down from making his own threats, saying “military solutions are now in place.”