Donald Trump has no idea what he’s doing. That couldn’t be more evident in the way he’s handled his hardly thought-out decision to accept the invitation to speak with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un — because he’s messing everything up before the process even begins.
Trump’s senior advisors are now going nuts, trying to do damage control and keep Trump reined in while trying to coordinate this weird agreement that Trump made without even consulting anyone. More than ever, the true dysfunction between Trump and his White House is on full display now, as the White House has taken three different positions on Trump’s meeting with Kim in the last 24 hours!
Not even Trump’s own team can keep track of what’s going on with the president. Yesterday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated that talks wouldn’t happen unless North Korea made “concrete and verifiable actions” to denuclearize — which was not discussed Thursday when Trump announced the meeting. Huckabee Sanders said:
They have made some major promises. They have made promises to denuclearize. They have made promises to stop nuclear and missile testing. We’re not going to have this meeting take place until we see concrete actions that match the words and the rhetoric of North Korea.”
In the press briefing, she continued to reiterate that denuclearization has been “promised” and that Trump would not be meeting with North Korea until the rogue nation began the process. However, this is in stark contrast to what she said the evening before when she stated that Trump “will accept the invitation to meet with Kim Jong Un at a place and time to be determined.” Nothing was said about denuclearization.
It seemed as though other senior administration officials were confused as well on Thursday. One official said:
At this point, we’re not even talking about negotiations. What we’re talking about is an invitation by the leader of North Korea to meet face-to-face with the president of the United States. The president has accepted that invitation.”
The White House was definitely confused about their position of denuclearization and its impact on the meeting but continued to insist that the meeting was definitely happening. This seemed to change on Friday when Huckabee Sanders started to walk back her announcement. In response, MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson asked:
Is there a possibility that these talks with North Korea with Kim Jong-Un may not happen?”
Huckabee Sanders said:
A lot of things are possible. I won’t sit here and walk through every hypothetical that could exist in the world, but I can tell you the president accepted that invitation on the basis that you have concrete and verifiable steps.”
We wish that was the end of this ridiculous back and forth — but it’s not. Less than 90 minutes after Huckabee Sanders said that, the White House did another 180. A White House official said:
The invitation has been extended and accepted, and that stands.”
Clearly, the White House was unprepared to deal with the chaos that Trump had just unleashed on them, and there is no cohesion and order to keep their messages straight. Trump and his team have no idea what is going on, and already the North Korea talks are shaping up to be a disaster.
Featured image via Sean Rayford/Getty Images