House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she was relieved that President Trump didn’t make a one-sided deal with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at their summit in Vietnam, but said that even holding a second meeting with Kim amounted to handing a victory to the dictator.
“I guess it took two meetings to realize Kim Jong Un is not on the level,” Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters in Washington. “He was a big winner, Kim Jong Un, in getting to sit face to face with the most powerful person in the world, the president of the United States.”
Trump, who abruptly left the summit Friday without reaching a deal for North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons, had gone into the meetings full of praise for Jong Un, who he portrayed as his “friend.”
Vietnam is thriving like few places on earth. North Korea would be the same, and very quickly, if it would denuclearize. The potential is AWESOME, a great opportunity, like almost none other in history, for my friend Kim Jong Un. We will know fairly soon - Very Interesting!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 27, 2019
Trump also criticized Democrats who had warned the president not to trust Kim at the two leaders’ second face-to-face meeting.
The Democrats should stop talking about what I should do with North Korea and ask themselves instead why they didn’t do “it” during eight years of the Obama Administration?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 27, 2019
American foreign policy experts had warned of the danger that Trump, who had seemed to revel in the pageantry of his earlier summit with Kim, might be tempted to give away too much in exchange for too little.
Pelosi said she was not surprised that the president was returning without a landmark deal for ridding North Korea of its nuclear weapons.
“Diplomacy is important, we always support it, but the prospect of success seemed dim in light of the insincerity of Kim Jong Un,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi also scoffed at Trump’s statement that he believed Jong Un did not know the specifics of what had happened to Otto Warmbier, an American college student who died after being jailed in North Korea.
“It’s strange, and I don’t know, something is wrong that Kim Jong Un, a proven thug, that the president chooses to believe,” Pelosi said.
Still, Pelosi expressed relief that Trump had not cut a deal with Jong Un and given away American leverage.
“It’s really good the president didn’t give him anything for the little he was proposing,” Pelosi said.
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