Russian media blames Democrats for Trump’s failed Hanoi summit — and makes it clear they back Kim Jong-un
After President Donald Trump’s summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un in Hanoi, Vietnam last week, the president’s allies at Fox News exalted him as a savvy statesman. But according to a new report by the Daily Beast’s Julia Davis, the coverage hasn’t been nearly as favorable in the state-owned Russian media.
Davis reports that Trump, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, has been seeking the Kremlin’s input on North Korea—first in 2018, then before the Hanoi summit this year. However, Davis explains that “the Russians weren’t rooting for Trump—quite the contrary—and state media view with public contempt his efforts to look like a tough guy in the summit aftermath.”
Davis offers some examples of the glowing coverage that Trump’s meeting with Jong-un received at Fox News, where it was described as “Trump’s Reykjavik”—a reference to President Ronald Reagan’s meeting with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in Reykjavik, Iceland in 1986. Fox News praised Trump’s “willingness to walk away,” stressing that similarly, Reagan was equally strong with Gorbachev 33 years ago.
A Fox News reporter, Davis points out, also enthused, “President Trump knows exactly what he wants from North Korea: complete and verifiable denuclearization.” But Jong-un didn’t agree to give up North Korea’s nuclear weapons last week. And Russian President Vladimir Putin, Davis notes, has commented that North Korea wouldn’t give up its nuclear weapons even if its people were forced to eat grass.
In one of his tirades, Fox News’ Sean Hannity claimed, “The left is rooting for Trump to fail with North Korea. Their hatred of the president is psychotic.” By “the left,” Hannity was referring to Democrats. But according to Davis, it was Olga Skabeeva, a reporter for state-owned Russian television, who hoped that Jong-un wouldn’t agree to give up its nuclear weapons. Davis quoted Skabeeva as saying, “We trust in Kim and hope he won’t abandon anything.”
Davis also points out that when Trump spoke to Putin on the phone in 2017, “the Russian president reportedly advised the U.S. to stop joint military exercises with the South Koreans in order to moderate Kim Jong-uns behavior.” And in fact, the U.S. and South Korea have announced the cancellation of two joint military drills.
Davis quotes Dmitry Kiselyov, who hosts the weekly news program, “Vesti Nedeli,” in Russia, as saying that the Hanoi summit was the latest in a series of foreign policy failures for Trump.
Kiselyov asserted, “Trump miraculously managed to worsen relations on all fronts: with the European Union, China, Russia. Total failure in Syria. The same with Turkey. Failure with Iran and failure with Venezuela. Nothing but failures at every turn.... Trump, who calls himself the ‘master of the deal,’ left Vietnam empty-handed.”
Davis concludes her report by noting that “the Hanoi summit turned out to be a golden propaganda opportunity and a win-win situation,” but not for the United States—“for Russia and North Korea.”