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Trump: Cohen made me ‘walk’ from the North Korea talks

The president has an odd propensity for doing his critics’ work for them

March 4, 2019

12:42 PM

4 March 2019

12:42 PM

Donald Trump is a man of few words. Actually, that’s not true. He’s a man of many words — witness his two-hour speech at CPAC on Saturday — they’re just the same words. The president’s limited vocabulary and habit of recycling his remarks is one way to explain his odd comments about the young North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un. According to CNN, reporting from Hanoi, when he first met Kim he said he’d known plenty of people who grew up wealthy and whose families were powerful. Many of them emerged messed up, Trump is quoted as saying, but Kim wasn’t one of them.

Kim has (allegedly) murdered his half-brother with a banned nerve agent, had his uncle executed with an anti-aircraft gun, and presided over the mass starvation of his people. But — unlike some Manhattan trust fund kids given too much too soon — he wasn’t ‘messed up,’ according to Trump. The theme of rich, spoilt kids going wrong, or more to the point living in the shadow of their amazing, incredible and unbelievable parents, is one that is familiar to Trump. Way back in 1990, he gave this hurtful judgement on his children in a Playboy interview: ‘Statistically, my children have a very bad shot. Children of successful people are generally very, very troubled, not successful. They don’t have the right shtick…95 percent of those children fail.’

There may have been other reasons the Trump children had a hard time. According to one biography of Trump — by the legendary muckraking journalist Wayne Barrett — Donald Junior stopped speaking to his father for a while, when was 12 years old. That was when he had to watch Trump cavorting through the New York tabloids with his mistress, Marla Marples. The front page splash in one edition of the New York Post was ‘Marla boasts to her pals about Donald: BEST SEX I’VE EVER HAD.’ It was a story planted by Trump himself.

The weird Kim remarks and the whole North Korea summit mess are not just in the rear view mirror. That’s because of the latest Trump tweet about what went wrong with the summit. He linked his dash home to the testimony by his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, to the House Oversight Committee last week.‘’For the Democrats to interview in open hearings a convicted liar & fraudster, at the same time as the very important Nuclear Summit with North Korea, is perhaps a new low in American politics and may have contributed to the “walk.” Never done when a president is overseas. Shame!’

The former Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, didn’t predict the ‘walk’ but he did say that the talks and dinner with Kim would inevitably be cut short because the president was fixated on Cohen and what he might say. Clapper told CNN: ‘I could bet my paycheck that that dinner will be over in time for the testimony. And the president will be well ensconced in his room with the TV on.’

Most presidents would do anything to avoid the suggestion that a domestic scandal might affect their ability to conduct foreign policy. But as so often in this rule-breaking presidency, Trump does it differently, coming right out and admitting the thing he’s accused of….each time as if to add a huge ‘So What!’. As ever, the president appears either very stupid and or very clever, sowing confusion as he goes.


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