Lewis Strauss, American nuclear kingpin in the mid-1950s, was devious and smart, but also often notably clumsy. Here a couple of reporters describe how he extemporized, to terrible effect, after a March 1954 thermonuclear test went badly:
President Eisenhower and AEC Chairman Lewis Strauss held a joint press conference in an attempt to put the March 1 blast into proper perspective. … A REPORTER: Many people in Congress, I think many elsewhere, have been reaching out and grasping for some information as to what happens when the H-bomb goes off… STRAUSS: Well, the nature of an H-bomb is that, in effect, it can be made as large as you wish, as large as the military requirements, that is to say, an H-bomb can be made as—large enough to take out a city. CHORUS: What? STRAUSS: To take out a city, to destroy a city. A REPORTER: How big a city? STRAUSS: Any city. REPORTER: Any city? New York? STRAUSS: The metropolitan area, yes.
Shepley, James R., and Clay Jr. Blair. 1954. The Hydrogen Bomb: The Men, the Menace, the Mechanism. Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut, pp. 160-161.