Trump's already making excuses for himself in case his summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un turns out to be a huge bust.
Trump gave North Korea dictator Kim Jong Un a string of tremendous propaganda victories during their meeting in Singapore, and he's already preparing for the day that his humiliation of America backfires.
During a press availability at the close of the summit Tuesday, Trump fielded questions for about an hour, and deepened Kim's victory by effusively praising him, insulting our allies, and even attacking our own military's readiness exercises as "provocative."
In return for what retired four-star general and former CIA Director Michael Hayden called a "pretty big concession," Trump received a set of detail-free assurances that fell short of the goal of "irreversible and verifiable" de-nuclearization. Asked what the response would be if Kim failed to live up to his word, Trump essentially surrendered the entire enterprise.
"I think he’ll do it. I really believe that. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be doing this. I really believe it," he said.
"I think he’s — I think — honestly, I think he’s going to do these things. I may be wrong. I mean, I may stand before you in six months and say, 'Hey, I was wrong.' I don’t know that I’ll ever admit that, but I’ll find some kind of an excuse," he added.
Trump has a well-known talent for making excuses and blaming others for his own failures, but announcing that he'll do it ahead of time is unusual, even for him. And while it doesn't reveal anything about his character that we didn't already know, the admission is yet another strategic bungle.
The United States has been here before with North Korea — extracting promises that are later broken, even negotiating the release of hostages — but without having given up nearly as much as Trump has to get there.
Everyone hopes that peace with North Korea can be achieved, but so far, Trump's efforts seem more likely to lead to failure. And he's already announcing to the world his plan to evade any responsibility for it when that happens.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.