Trump's historic summit with North Korea dictator Kim Jong Un was, as expected, an embarrassing photo op and nothing more.
Trump's historic summit with North Korea dictator Kim Jong Un went exactly as expected: It was a massive embarrassment on the global stage.
After the meeting, Trump lavished praise — lots and lots of praise — on the leader he had only a year ago called "Little Rocket Man."
In an interview with ABC's Stephanopoulos, the ostensible leader of the free world could not say enough good things about North Korea's murderous dictator, including that Kim's country "does love him."
"His people, you see the fervor. They have a great fervor."
Asked about Kim's brutal regime — Stephanopoulos reminded Trump that Kim starves his own people and puts them in labor camps and has assassinated members of his own family — Trump insisted Kim "really does want to do a good job for North Korea" and "he wants to do the right thing."
And he even praised the beaches of North Korea and the wonderful real estate opportunities there.
"As an example, they have great beaches," Trump said. "You see that whenever they're exploding the cannons in the ocean, right? I said, 'Boy, look at that! Wouldn't that make a great great condo?' And I explained, I said, 'You know, instead of doing that, you could have the best hotels in the world right there. Think of it from a real estate perspective."
Trump, whose business owns many hotels around the world, didn't specify whether he would want to open his own hotels on those beaches.
And what did the United States get in exchange?
Trump insisted after their meeting that North Korea would denuclearize "soon." But he had no details of how or when.
"How are you going to know he’s keeping his word, he’s committed to this?" Stephanopoulos asked.
"Well," Trump answered, "we’re going to be following things. We’re going to be monitoring things." He added, many times, that he trusts Kim.
"Ronald Reagan said trust but verify," Stephanopoulos reminded him.
"Yeah," was the sum total of the answer. He could offer no details for how he and the United States will verify that Kim is doing what he supposedly promised.
But apparently, that doesn't matter. Trump trusts him and already gave him exactly what he wanted: a vow to stop "doing war games with South Korea," a plug for real estate opportunities in North Korea, and a photo op and handshake that legitimized a brutal dictator.
For the self-described great negotiator, it seems Trump came away with absolutely nothing except egg on his face.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.