Saturday, June 23, 2018

What did Donald Trump do today?

He changed his position on North Korea again.

Speaking at a campaign rally in Nevada tonight, Trump was once again full of praise for Kim Jong-un. He said that he was certain the North Korean dictator would engage in "total denuclearization," although Kim himself has publicly rejected any form of "denuclearization" that involves giving up his current nuclear arsenal. Trump also spoke warmly of Kim's intelligence and personality, and even his negotiating skills: "We have a good chemistry together. We get along great. He’s a smart, tough guy. He’s a great negotiator."

Outside of political rallies, though, Trump's stance on North Korea has swung wildly in recent days. Yesterday, Trump signed an executive order renewing sanctions against North Korea, in which he declared that
the existence and risk of proliferation of weapons-usable fissile material on the Korean Peninsula and the actions and policies of the Government of North Korea continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.
Earlier in the week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo abruptly canceled a Congressional briefing on the supposed progress made at the summit.

Last week, in his rush to declare his meeting with Kim a success, Trump tweeted that "There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea."

Previously, Trump has explained away Kim's human rights abuses by saying "a lot of people do bad things," taunted Kim with the nickname "Little Rocket Man," called Kim a "smart cookie," threatened to rain down "fire and fury" on North Korea, and expressed remorse for calling Kim "Little Rocket Man," offered to provide a guarantee of safety for the dictatorial Kim regime, and bragged that his "nuclear button" was bigger than Kim's.

So what?

  • It's bad if the president can't hold one consistent opinion about a nuclear-armed rogue nation led by a dictator.