Bernie Sanders Says as President He Would Meet With Dictators

Magan Crane

(Bloomberg) -- Bernie Sanders said he would meet with adversaries, including North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, but that he would do so better prepared than President Donald Trump.

“Meeting with people who are antagonistic is, to me, not a bad thing to do,” the Democratic presidential candidate said in an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” that will air in full on Sunday.

Trump has met with the North Korean leader three times -- in Singapore, in Vietnam, and most recently in June at the Demilitarized Zone separating South and North Korea.

The pair have discussed sanctions and North Korea’s nuclear program but the U.S. has been unsuccessful in persuading Kim to give up his nuclear arsenal. Negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang have stalled for now, and Kim has pressed ahead with missile testing.

“I think, unfortunately, Trump went into that meeting unprepared. I think it was a photo opportunity -- and did not have the -- kind of the diplomatic work necessary to make it a success,” Sanders said. It was unclear which of the meetings he was referring to.

“But I do not have a problem with sitting down with adversaries all over the world,” Sanders said in a partial transcript released by the network.

Military Doctrine

Sanders, who’s said he wants the U.S. to withdraw from foreign military engagements, said there are circumstances in which military action is warranted, such as “threats against the American people.”“You know, hopefully as -- as rare -- as possible. But, yeah, we have the best military in the world,” he said.

Attacks on allies would also be a justification for U.S. military involvement, Sanders said. “I believe in NATO. I believe that the United States, everything being equal, should be -- working with other countries in alliance, not doing it alone.”

He also said the U.S. should intervene if China were to take military action against Taiwan.

“We have got to make it clear to countries around the world that we will not sit by and allow -- invasions to take place, absolutely,” Sanders said.

The Vermont senator decisively won the Nevada caucuses on Saturday to cement his place as the front-runner for the Democratic nomination to take on Trump in November.

To contact the reporter on this story: Magan Crane in Washington at mcrane19@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at wbenjaminson@bloomberg.net, Ros Krasny

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