Republican officials reportedly imagine Donald Trump's chief of staff and defence secretary have had conversations about "physically [restraining]" him if he "lunged for the nuclear football."
Gabriel Sherman, a contributing editor at New York Magazine, told MSNBC's All In with Chris Hayes a senior republican had told him they imagined conversations between General John Kelly and James Mattis about what to do if Mr Trump attempted to launch a nuclear strike.
Mr Sherman said: “I just want to put into context a conversation that I had with a very prominent Republican today, who literally was saying that they imagine General Kelly and Secretary Mattis had conversations about if Trump lunged for the nuclear football, what would they do?
"Would they tackle him? I mean literally, physically restrain him from putting the country at sort of a perilous risk, and that’s the kind of situation we’re in."
When asked to explain the source's relationship to the Trump administration, Mr Sherman replied: "These are the kind of conversations that they have, on very good authority, are taking place inside the White House."
It comes as the US flew two strategic bombers over the Korean Peninsula as the President met top defence officials to respond to any threat from North Korea.
Tensions remain high between the US and the North after a series of weapons tests by Pyongyang and increasingly fiery rhetoric from Mr Trump.
He has refused to deny the US is heading towards World War III after Senator Bob Corker, with whom Mr Trump has publicly feuded with, told a New York Times reporter the US President's comments about other nations could put the US on the path to another world war.
When asked if Mr Corker's assessment was correct, the President said: “We were on the wrong path before.”
"All you have to do is take a look,” he added. “If you look over the last 25 years, through numerous administrations, we were on a path to a very big problem – a problem like this world has never seen.
"We’re on the right path right now, believe me.”
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies