Congressman Jared Polis says U.S. risk of nuclear war highest since Bay of Pigs

DENVER -- The tension between North Korea and the United States is escalating.

Late Wednesday, North Korea said President Donald Trump's threats are a  "load of nonsense" and that "only absolute force" can work on Trump.

Trump kept the tension going in an early-morning tweet.

"This is very scary. We are the closest to a nuclear conflict since the Bay of Pigs," said Congressman Jared Polis, a Democrat from Boulder.

The president has unchecked authority to launch nuclear weapons, according to military protocol in many situations.

Protocols are in place so the president can launch a missile if another country launched one at the U.S. first.

"The president is commander and chief of the military. When the nation elects a president, that's very much what they are electing," Polis said.

While Congress, according to the Constitution, has sole ability to declare war, in recent years, presidents have launched strikes without full congressional votes.

For instance, Trump launched a strike in Syria earlier this year. Some argue a strike is not war.

Denver is in range of a potential North Korea strike since it has been reported its missiles can travel 7,000 miles. Guam is the most likely target as of Wednesday.