More details have come to light about the maneuvering around the United States-North Korea summit, highlighting President Donald Trump’s impulsivity and constant breaks with U.S. foreign relations norms—whether it be trying to move the summit up out of boredom or praising North Korea’s propagandist press.
According to a Thursday Washington Post report, Trump started off his trip in Singapore by expressing his boredom to staffers and asking why they couldn’t just move the fully-planned summit up a day. “We’re here now,” he reportedly said. “Why can’t we just do it?”
He was only talked out of this idea when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders convinced him that he would lose press coverage if the summit were to be changed to what would be Sunday night in America.
Trump reportedly started to hit his groove when the summit began, lavishing praise on North Korea’s state-run propaganda machine that masquerades as a news source, joking that even Fox News isn’t as friendly to him to North Korea’s media is to Kim Jong Un. Per the Washington Post, he jokingly offered a North Korean anchor a spot on a U.S. news show.
He reportedly continued to swoon at North Korea’s displays, awestruck by how “tough” their soldiers were and quipping that they could probably beat up Chief of Staff John Kelly, a retired general. He took his admiration a bridge too far, as footage is now circulating of him saluting a North Korean soldier, a gesture seen as a shocking display of deference to a hostile regime.
As he left the summit, he was entranced by the idea of bringing in developers and financiers to get into the North Korean real estate market, according to the Washington Post. “As an example, they have great beaches,” Trump told reporters at a news conference.. “You see that whenever they’re exploding their cannons into the ocean, right? I said, ‘Boy, look at the view. Wouldn’t that make a great condo behind?’ ”
Per the Washington Post, it is unclear if Trump kept these fantasies to himself and the American press, or if he shared them personally with Kim.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) sees no problem with Trump’s real estate ambitions. “He is selling condos, that’s what he is doing,” Graham told the Washington Post. “He’s approaching North Korea as a distressed property with a cash-flow problem. Here’s how we can fix it.”