Yet that moment of potential sedition seemed to pass off as a rather humdrum event.
At the same time, the president doesn't have to consult with Congress before using our nation's ultimate weapons. That reference alone speaks volumes as to what lies at stake for Trump.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Sudan is taking the step because of the "critical threat" posed by the North's nuclear program. Basically, Trump is being painted as a nutcase with his finger on a button for Armageddon. The answer is simple. The commander could try to override the order by sending a launch termination order, Blair said.
The debate on nuclear weapons presents another area where some in Congress are seeking to impose more muscular oversight and executive accountability.
Even members of Trump's own Republican Party have cast him as a threat to national security.
Corker, a Tennessee Republican who is not seeking re-election next year, has pointedly criticized President Donald Trump's stability and competence - in short, his fitness for office - and warned that the president seems to be leading the U.S. on "the path to World War III".
"The Soviet Union was a superpower with satellite states in Eastern Europe and an ideology that had global appeal despite the nature of the Soviet regime. And it's also important that our adversaries have complete faith in the credibility of U.S. deterrence", said Thomas Karako, director of the missile defense project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. A new Nuclear Posture Review is under way, and its findings are due soon. Even then, he should turn to Congress as soon as possible to ratify his defensive response and authorize offensive military action. Other democracies, particularly those with parliamentary systems like the United Kingdom or Canada, put career civil servants in charge of agencies, with overtly political jobs limited to groups of special advisers hired by the government in power. In the first, the president has almost unlimited authority, correct?
The last time Congress debated this issue was in March 1976.
The hearing Corker convened on Tuesday offered little solace.
The launch procedures for the US nuclear arsenal are a relic of the Cold War, designed to unleash missiles in minutes should the nation come under attack.
Addressing the committee this week, General Robert Kehler, who was commander of the US Strategic Command from 2011 to 2013, said he would refuse a presidential order to carry out a nuclear first strike he thought was "illegal". "I mean, you look at some of these agencies, how massive they are, and it's totally unnecessary". It is an open challenge to Trump's ultimate authority.
Scholarly and official estimates bear this out. He is impetuous and reckless in his rhetoric.
Mr Trump has maintained a strained relationship with other NATO member states over the years, at one point calling the organisation "obsolete". "The human factor kicks in".
Under the current rules that concentrate authority in one individual, the president could railroad military commanders and insist on a dubious course of action.
But here's the intriguing thing.
Congressman Bob Corker is resembling anything but a lame duck U.S Senator.
"I think hard cases make bad law, and I think if we were to change the decision-making process in some way because of a distrust of this president, I think that would be an unfortunate precedent", McKeon said. For the first time in decades it considered whether it's necessary to alter or restrict the president's power to order a nuclear strike.
Duke University professor Peter Feaver told the committee, "You want to make sure you don't propose a legislative fix that undermines the nuclear deterrent and thus compromises the effectiveness of why we have nuclear weapons". Their concern, they said, was what Trump or any president will use nuclear force preemptively.
Adding to the heightened tensions, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster has gone so far as to say the regime in Pyongyang is undeterrable.