The hits just keep on coming. After it was reported that North Korea had the capability to put nuclear warheads onto its long-range missiles, President Trump delivered remarks at his golf resort in New Jersey where he promised “fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before” — a few hours after North Korea said the U.S. was pushing to the brink of nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula. With North Korea now threatening to bomb Guam while Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says everything is fine, it’d be great if the administration was on the same page, but unfortunately we can’t have nice things and reportedly, President Trump’s “fire and fury” bit was completely improvised.
According to the New York Times, President Trump interrupted his own planned remarks on the opioid crisis to threaten North Korea. Moreover, “in discussions with advisers beforehand, he had not run the specific language by them.” Newly installed Chief of Staff John Kelly, who is also staying at Bedminster, was reportedly taken aback by the remarks, which were made after Trump read a new story about North Korea’s missile technology.
The ad-lib was symbolic of the divide among those in the administration regarding what to do with North Korea. While some like Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster see North Korea as a threat that requires some response, others like Steve Bannon see the situation as an off-shoot of their conflict with China. This has led to Bannon’s right-wing media allies calling for the removal of Mattis and McMaster for being “soft” on issues like terrorism and Iran.
Infighting aside, everyone expected President Trump to be asked about North Korea after running through his talking points about the opioid crisis, and “neither camp advocated language like ‘fire and fury,’ according to the people involved.”
This has been a great 24 hours for the cardiovascular health of everyone involved.
(Via New York Times)