To turn television props into sound policy, the administration will need all the help it can get.
If there were any doubts that Donald Trump is permanently booked at The Grand Delusion Hotel, his early Wednesday morning tweet erased them.
The president claimed, “Everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office. There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea.” If only that were true.
There is not a single, credible nuclear-security expert who would agree that the bizarre Singapore summit and the vague communiqué it produced has eliminated the dozens of nuclear weapons, hundreds of missiles and the vast nuclear weapon complex North Korea has constructed over the past five decades.
The entire spectacle “was weird,” Ambassador Christopher Hill told MSNBC anchor David Gura as we sat together on set in New York at 2 a.m. Tuesday morning. We were up all night trying to make sense of what we were seeing and provide some semblance of expert analysis. “The whole presentation was very strange,” said an exasperated Hill.
When enterprising reporters and experts realized that they could read the one-page statement from still photos of Trump flashing his signed copy to the crowd, we got the text before the official 4 a.m. release and press conference. We were stunned at the contents. In real time and on-air, we quickly compared it to the 2005 agreement that Hill had negotiated and the 1992, 1993 and 1994 agreements. It was hard to believe what we were reading.
Hill and most other experts had been deeply skeptical all along. I had been more positive. Surely, they hadn’t staged all this, made all these forward-leaning statements without some major down payments by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on disarmament? But they had. Kim did not commit to anything new or even reaffirm his unilateral moves preceding the summit.