News & Politics

Here's Why Trump's Stance on the North Korea Summit Has Been So Incoherent

"He did indeed cancel because he was afraid he would get canceled on."

Photo Credit: U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Tony Harp

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un may end up meeting on June 12 in Singapore after all, despite Trump's dramatic cancellation of the summit on Thursday. On Friday, Trump reversed course from his cancellation the day before, saying that the meeting may still take place at the same time and place as had previously been scheduled.

On CNN, the New York Times' Maggie Haberman explained why Trump is so desperate to make a deal happen, and how it led to the bizarre flip-flopping and confused messaging witnessed over the last few weeks.

"He does want this summit to happen," she said Friday evening. "My understanding from a couple of people is he did indeed cancel because he was afraid he would get canceled on, and he wanted to set the terms of the debate."

She continued: "And then he started anew. This morning, he was telling several people that he believed the North Koreans would give in, ultimately, and that this meeting would still happen. He still sees this as an obtainable goal, and in his mind, as the ultimate deal. in contrast to Middeast peace, which I think he has begun to realize is less likely."

One more important point is this: "It's something that will make his critics crazy, which at the end of the day is the validation he's seeking."

Haberman also argued that, despite the appearance of a lot of activity, not much has really changed throughout this week. 

"This meeting may still happen, and it may not," she said. This is just the way Trump goes about trying to make deals: a lot of tumult, little substance.

Watch the clip below:

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Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.