“I think he’s been duped over the last two years when it comes to North Korea,” Brennan, an MSNBC national security analyst, told the network after the president declared he would ease pressure on Kim Jong Un’s regime.
Enacting sanctions in the first place requires a collaborative decision from a host of agencies including intelligence, defense and commerce officials, Brennan noted.
Yet in one fell social-media swoop, Trump chose to undo all of that.
Brennan argued that move was made “arbitrarily, unilaterally” and “mindlessly” for Kim, who has shown no serious signs of denuclearizing his country.
“I think it just demonstrates once and again that he’s willing to give up a lot of things,” Brennan said of Trump, noting that the president already plans to end large-scale U.S.-South Korea joint military exercises that helped to prepare troops for any potential attacks.
Trump’s tweet immediately sparked confusion as it followed a U.S. Treasury Department announcement on Thursday that additional sanctions were being slapped on North Korean shipping companies. However, it remains unclear which sanctions Trump was referring to.
“I have today ordered the withdrawal of those additional Sanctions,” Trump tweeted.
The president’s behavior struck Brennan as “very abnormal” and “bizarre.”
“It’s demonstrating his assertiveness that he wants to just be impetuous and make decisions without the understanding of how this is going to reverberate as far as the impact on U.S. national security,” Brennan said.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed Trump’s demand for the sanctions to be stopped, telling reporters he didn’t think they were necessary because “he likes Chairman Kim.”
Last month’s Trump-Kim meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam, was the second summit between the two leaders. Despite continuing concerns over North Korea’s nuclear program, no progress was made toward ending it.