Wednesday, June 27, 2018

What did Donald Trump do today?

He got, but probably didn't hear, a reality check on North Dakota from his own State Department.

At his campaign rally in North Dakota tonight, Trump was unusually quiet on the subject of North Korea, saying only this in remarks that lasted over an hour:
I was dealt a lot of bad hands. I was given North Korea, where, frankly we were very close to going to war. You could have lost 30 million people, 50 million people, Seoul is 30 miles off the border, they have what they call cannons, like howitzers, they have cannons, thousands of them, pointed. I had the meeting, we had the great relationship, we had a great chemistry together. The fake news was so upset when I said we had a good relationship, we had a good chemistry, they said, that's a horrible thing. No no, it's a good thing. Getting along with countries, getting along with China, getting along with Russia, getting along with these countries is a good thing. It's not a bad thing.
Trump has staked his personal political fortunes on the idea that he has succeeded in "getting along" with the Kim regime, even declaring on Twitter that "There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea!"

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Congress otherwise today, and that North Korea still has not returned the remains of American servicemembers as it had pledged to do. (Trump has been telling everyone that it has already happened, and may actually even believe that.) 

Pompeo's testimony came as news broke that North Korea has actually been making rapid infrastructure improvements to its nuclear research facilities. 

What's the problem with this?

  • Whether a hostile nuclear-armed nation with a history of reneging on peace negotiations is a "threat" or not isn't something a president can afford to be confused about.