President Donald Trump’s visit to North Korea on Sunday with daughter Ivanka and Fox News’ Tucker Carlson in tow was denounced Monday as a diplomatic “booty call” with no substance on MSNBC’s “Deadline.” Host Nicolle Wallace declared: “The emperor was buck-ass naked.”
Trump’s trip to the DMZ, his step into North Korea and an hourlong meeting with dictator Kim Jong Un was characterized by a panel of journalists and former Republican Rep. David Jolly as “optics” like something out of a Trump reality show. It included the disconcerting appearance of the first daughter and White House aide instead of any experienced officials from the State Department. She called the experience “surreal.”
The encounter leaves the “world to wonder: Are we less safe today than we were before Trump decided to play nuclear negotiator?” Wallace said. The New York Times reported Monday that Trump might actually end up greenlighting North Korea as a nuclear power by accepting the status quo.
“Kim Jong Un has played President Trump beautifully,” said CNN’s Elise Lavin on the news show. “He knows exactly how to get what he wants from the president. ... all Kim has to do is show up and say nice things. I’m not someone who doesn’t think that these warming relations between the U.S. and North Korea are a bad thing — I think they’re a good thing.”
But, Lavin added, “I think what the president is doing with what I call this diplomatic booty call ... [that] really doesn’t take the relationship very forward.” (Watch the segment in the video above at 4:02.) The “atmospherics” are “untethered from any policy, any discussion. ... meanwhile, the North Korea program is still continuing to develop.”
Jolly quipped that Kim “swiped right” on Trump. The former Florida congressman found it especially concerning that Ivanka Trump was on the scene simply by dint of being the president’s daughter. But for all of her inexperience, she could have been the “most qualified” to be there, Jolly added in a slam at the president.
The president “has no strategy” in North Korea, said Jolly. “He hasn’t brought the American people to this moment where we can embrace what we saw this weekend ... instead, this is seen as this very destabilizing moment.”
Jolly said Trump has “no understanding of the complexities of geopolitical strategy or national security.” It’s all “about the ratings,” Jolly added. The only “case” Trump is making is: “I was the first.”
Jolly also warned: “What I would say about this moment for the American people is that in times of international consequence, this is the best the nation has to offer under Donald Trump. This is what Donald Trump leads with in times of international consequence: Tucker Carlson, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.” (Watch in the video below at 6:00.)
Wallace asked: “Even if you’re a fan, I don’t think you think that Ivanka is the best person to negotiate with North Korea on nukes, do you? ... She’s not as qualified as the Secret Service agents, who are at least briefed on the security threats. I mean, what is she doing there?” (2:10 in the video.)
This is “where the scam seems revealed,” she added. “This is where even his supporters have to look at these pictures and say, oh yeah, the emperor is buck-ass naked.” (6:48 below.)
“And so are his kids,” Jolly added.