WATCH: Donald Trump said he would “negotiate like crazy” with North Korea if he was president during a 1999 interview on Meet the Press. pic.twitter.com/0gJ5WhbtMf
— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) August 9, 2017
Lately, the President’s soundbites have started sounding like they were taken from Game of Thrones, what with all the “fire and fury” and talk of obliterating North Korea. But eighteen years ago, Donald Trump had a very different view of how he’d handle the despotic state, and it sounded like it came from a very different book — namely his own Art of the Deal — as he told Tim Russert in 1999 on Meet the Press:
“First I’d negotiate. I would negotiate like crazy, and I’d make sure we try to get the best deal possible … If a man walks up and puts a gun to your head and says ‘give me your money,’ wouldn’t you rather know where he is coming from before he had the gun in his hand? These people, in three or four years are going to be having nuclear weapons, they’re going to have those weapons pointed all over the world, specifically at the United States …. And wouldn’t it be good to sit down and really negotiate something, ideally negotiate. Now if that negotiation doesn’t work, you’d better solve the problem now than solve it later. You know it, and every politician knows it, and nobody wants to talk about it.”
The old quote is making the rounds once again ever since Trump ramped up his foreign policy rhetoric while on vacation, declaring that North Korea had “best not make anymore threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.” He then proceeded to re-Tweet Fox News’ coverage of his latest line and began bragging about the size of his nuclear arsenal on Twitter.