As I’ve noted before, I’ve got some smart readers out there. A number of your most recent comments relate to the possible damage done to Trump’s negotiations with Kim Jong-Un by Wednesday’s Cohen hearings, timed as they were to coincide with the North Korea summit that same day in Vietnam. My dismay was shared by many of you. Here’s an example, followed by my reply:
With the Michael Cohen testimony on the same day as the North Korea meeting, another thought may affect Kim Jong-Un.
The untimely Cohen hearing would surely confirm through the media how desperately intent the Dems are on impeaching the President and doing everything to make him fail. Kim has total awareness of the deadly dynamics of politics against Trump. I think he genuinely likes and trusts the President. Yet I would not blame him for being somewhat reluctant to make a long-term deal with Trump, when it is obvious the Dems are highly intent on taking him down.
If Trump were impeached or not re-elected, I would suspect Kim would be rightfully suspect about anyone that might replace an impeached Trump. Do you think anyone has been thinking of this possible reasoning like I do?
From the Gov:
Of course, by now you know that President Trump decided to leave the negotiations (without even staying for lunch) because Kim Jong-Un would agree to nothing but a “bad deal” for America: not anything close to total denuclearization on his part, but the total removal of sanctions on our part, which would leave us nothing to negotiate with in further talks. Kate is certainly not the only one to wonder how the political circus back home might have factored into Kim’s willingness to negotiate.
I think the dynamic must have been very much as Stephen Green posted on Instapundit Thursday afternoon: “My quick take is that Kim sensed Trump had political weakness at home due to the Cohen hearing, and bet that Trump couldn’t walk away from a bad deal. He chose...poorly.”
Kate, I doubt that Kim “genuinely likes and trusts” the President --- or anyone else; remember, this is a man who's had even members of his own family killed and fits the profile of a sociopath. The only people he “likes” are those he can use. And, with his personal food tasters and crazy forms of security (he has his own toilet brought everywhere he goes so no one can get his stool sample and test it), it’s obvious he trusts no one.
But certainly he had decided it was in his best interest to meet and negotiate with Trump, or he wouldn’t have done it. And if he had gotten the impression that Trump was politically vulnerable at home, he might have thought he could get away with more and ask for too much. This appears to be exactly what he has done. In doing so, he misjudged Trump, who (being Trump) was not about to be pushed into a bad deal. Mike Pompeo isn’t the type to go for that, either.
Here’s an excellent interview by FOX News’ Ed Henry with Harry Kazianis, director of Korea studies for the Center For National Interest, that mentions this scenario. Kazianis joins other analysts (even, surprisingly, Susan Rice) in saying that Trump did the right thing in walking away from this deal. He thinks there will be a third summit. But of Kim, he notes, “He was being completely unrealistic. And, who knows, maybe he was overplaying his hand a little bit, [thinking] because of what happened today [Thursday] with Michael Cohen, maybe he could extract a [few] more concessions from the President. If that’s the case, he made a big mistake.”
The whole interview is quite informative.
Here’s a slightly different take on “the Cohen effect,” from reader Keith W:
Mike - The timing that the Democratic Party selected for the Cohen testimony was not chosen simply in order to divert attention from the Trump/Kim summit. Instead, it was intended to subvert that meeting. They wanted to send a signal to Kim that he did not need to agree to anything that Trump was asking for. (The last thing that the Democratic Party wanted to see was Donald Trump establishing peace that 70 years of previous administrations had been unwilling to touch.)
Maybe Trump would have been unsuccessful anyway, but the Democratic Party felt that they needed an "insurance policy". The timing of the Cohen hearings was their insurance policy.
From the Gov:
Yes, I’m sure there are Democrats who are so deranged over Trump being President that they would sacrifice our national security if it meant hurting HIM. We see that, as a party, they were at the very least willing to risk it.
Heads up, Democrats: if you’re afraid climate change will destroy the Earth in 12 years, your fear is horribly misplaced. That’s because if anything is going to wreak havoc on the Earth in such a short time, it’s nukes in the hands of lunatic despots like Kim Jong-Un. What do you think THEY’RE going to do to the climate? You deranged leftists trying to take Trump down had better realize that at this time in history, LIKE IT OR NOT, he’s our best hope for mitigating the threat. Please, please get over it and let him do his job.
Speaking of letting him do his job, Reuters reports that House Democrats are now going to investigate all aspects of Trump’s finances and are planning to depose his long-time tax attorney Sheri Dillon, along with Stephan Passantino, former deputy White House counsel in charge of compliance and ethics. On Wednesday, they both received letters from House Oversight Committee chairman Elijah Cummings (who was the one to bring Michael Cohen in for his public hearing that same day) saying they want to ask about Trump’s legally mandated financial ethics disclosures.
Of course, Dillon would have a deep knowledge of the President’s tax returns. Her letter didn’t say if they would be questioning her about those. But it didn’t say they wouldn’t be. Trump’s tax returns are their Holy Grail, especially now that it appears Mueller has nothing on Russian “collusion.”
They also want information relating to the payments made by Cohen in 2016 –- meaning while Trump was running for President –- to buy the silence of women who claimed they’d had sex with him.
It just goes on and on. This President’s political enemies will just keep digging and digging until they find...SOMETHING...ANYTHING...to subvert an election they still can’t accept that they lost. They’ll tie him up legally any way they can to keep him from doing his job. And if it adversely affects his ability to negotiate with nuclear-armed despots, that’s the price we may all have to pay. This is why we have to do everything we can to defeat them at the ballot box and keep them out of power.
I’ll let smart reader David wrap up this discussion:
I believe Kim's North Korean negotiators kept their finger on the pulse of the Cohen sideshow, and dutifully reported to him that Trump was damaged –- and thus weakened –- as a result, and that Chairman Kim could take advantage and "ask for more," from Trump....thus, the "temporarily failed" talks.
Yes, Trump was undercut by those scurrilous Dems; but Trump showed his strength of character –- and sound judgement –- and refused to accept a weak deal!
It's not over yet; but Dems.....this one's on you!!