Old Trump Tweet Shows Exactly Why Trump's Dealmaking with North Korea Is So Inept
If you plan on becoming president, be careful what you tweet. Someday, your old posts may be dredged up to make you look ridiculous.
That ship has already sailed for President Donald Trump, whose critics can often find old tweets of his that contradict or undermine his current positions. As the president celebrates his unimpressive and potentially counterproductive summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, a particularly ironic Trump tweet from 2013 has emerged:
The reason great dealmakers do not OPENLY celebrate a deal, especially one that is not complete, is that it shows weakness to the other side— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1385376925.0
This short tweet actually nicely encapsulates a major problem in Trump's negotiations with Kim.
Since Trump first announced the summit with North Korea, the decision appeared to be a desperate gamble. Trump spread word of the meeting long before it was clear what was going on, and his announcement seemed to blindside much of the federal government he's supposed to run.
As the civil lawsuits against him proceed, special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation grinds on, and the 2018 midterms get closer, Trump was not-so-subtlely searching for an accomplishment he could claim that would prove the doubters wrong. With these dynamics clearly in play, it sent a message to North Korea that Trump needed a deal, putting him at a notable disadvantage.
And since the summit, Trump has been quick to disregard his 2013 advice, confirming his desperation for a win as he declares victory on North Korea. He said falsely in a tweet Wednesday: "There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea."
It is patently untrue that there isn't a threat from North Korea any longer, and the negotiations with Kim have failed to produce any meaningful concessions from the dictatorial regime. The best case one can make in favor of the summit is that it is the start of a process that could lead to real progress and benefits for all involved — but for that to be the case, the United States would have to maintain its leverage to counter the threat Kim poses.
By celebrating early and declaring victory — or perhaps, "Mission Accomplished" — Trump has done exactly what his 2013 self advised against: showing weakness to the other side.