Trump Is Mad About His Impulsive Decision to Meet With Kim Jong-un

And he’d really like it if the media would just stop overthinking this, ok?

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A few days ago the White House along with South Korean officials announced that Kim Jong-un had invited President Donald Trump to to discuss North Korean denuclearization and that the president had accepted. This was immediately greeted with cautious optimism by many people who don’t want to die in a nuclear fire, a proposition that had grown increasingly likely over the last 16 months. 

But there were other voices too! Voices pointing out that this maybe wasn’t the big win the Trump administration thought it was. Chatting with an American president has been a goal of the North Korean regime for decades—and now Trump had given them that with nary more than a promise to “discuss” denuclearization. “Is Donald Trump the stupidest man alive?” wondered Kevin Drum. According to reports, the State Department was as surprised by the news as anyone else. It wasn’t long before many people suggested that perhaps meeting with Kim Jong-un is something that should happen at the end of a negotiation, rather than the beginning.

This was not lost on Trump, who on Saturday took to Twitter to vent.

This tweet is stupid for many reasons, the most obvious being that Trump is mad that the media took two seconds to think about whether this very big news was good or bad. How dare they!

But it’s even stupider when you realize that Trump’s own administration changed its position on the talks after spending approximately two seconds thinking about it. Here’s White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders on Friday responding to questions after a string of reports indicated that Trump was backing off the agreement to meet after being advised by the State Department that North Korea needed to meet certain preconditions before he granted Kim a high-level photo-op:

Q: Sarah, you said they promised to denuclearize. Did they promise to denuclearize or did they promise to talk about denuclearizing?

SANDERS: The understanding, the message from the South Korean delegation is that they would denuclearize. And that is what our ultimate goal has always been, and that will have to be part of the actions that we see them take.

Q: Is that before or after the meeting?

SANDERS: We’d have to see concrete and verifiable actions take place.

Q: Before the meeting?

SANDERS: Yes. Yeah.

But then the White House seemed to walk back its embarrassing yet constructive walk-back: 

Regardless, it is undeniable that the Trump administration is guilty of changing its mind about the invitation after thinking it over. This is exactly what Trump is attacking the media for doing.

Happy Saturday! Maybe that weirdo in Ohio is right

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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