President Trump made a speech to the United Nations on Tuesday that focused heavily on North Korea and how the United States might have no other choice than to “totally destroy North Korea” if Kim Jong-un doesn’t cease his nuclear ambitions:
“Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and his regime. The United States is ready, willing and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary. That’s what the United Nations is all about. That’s what the United Nations is for.”
The reactions to both the President’s nickname for Kim Jong-un and the implied threat were swift and unsurprising. However, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders may have had the “best” reaction: defending Trump’s comments by quoting Barack Obama out-of-context.
Sanders tweeted, “Presidents have always been clear to deter threats: “We could, obviously, destroy North Korea with our arsenals” – @BarackObama last year,” a reference to an interview the then-President gave to CBS’ Charlie Rose. During that interview, Obama said that the North Korea situation is one that is without easy solutions:
“We could, obviously, destroy North Korea with our arsenals. But aside from the humanitarian costs of that, they are right next door to our vital ally, Republic of Korea.”
It seems important to note that Obama was not deterring a threat, but rejecting the simplistic idea that the U.S. could just launch a nuclear strike on an entire country with no consequences to the rest of the region while also ignoring the moral offense such an action would entail.
Sean Spicer may be gone, but his follow-up is still doing all she can to pervert history.