Donald Trump blamed Democrats Sunday for his failure to strike a deal with Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, saying the open hearing of his former lawyer Michael Cohen “contributed to the ‘walk’.”
“For the Democrats to interview in open hearings a convicted liar & fraudster, at the same time as the very important Nuclear Summit with North Korea, is perhaps a new low in American politics and may have contributed to the ‘walk’,” Trump tweeted. “Never done when a president is overseas. Shame.”
National Security Adviser John Bolton earlier laid the blame for the parties leaving Vietnam without an agreement on North Korea’s leadership.
"The issue, really, was whether North Korea was prepared to accept what the president called 'the big deal,' which is denuclearize entirely under a definition the president handed to Kim Jong-un, and have the potential for an enormous economic future," Bolton told CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
Trump ended the summit early last week because he said North Korea wanted all sanctions lifted, a move Trump called “inappropriate.”
Hours later the North Koreans held a rare press conference to dispute Trump’s account, saying they were seeking only partial sanctions relief.
The failure to set out a clear path forward with Pyongyang means administration officials — led by special representative Stephen Biegun — will begin the process of reviving the denuclearization process.
Key to that will be South Korea, with President Moon Jae In announcing Monday that he will push for three-way semi-official talks with the U.S. and North Korea as a way to restart diplomacy.
“I believe the North Korea-U.S. negotiations will reach an agreement in the end, but I ask you to work for an early resumption of working-level dialogue between the two because we do not want the stalemate to be prolonged,” Moon told a National Security Council meeting.
As well as his failure to secure a deal in Hanoi, Trump received significant backlash for saying he believes Kim knew nothing about the death of U.S. student Otto Warmbier — even from his own party.
“Look, North Korea murdered Otto,” House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Cali) said on ABC’s “This Week” adding: “I think Kim knew what happened, which was wrong.”
Trump also came under fire from Warmbier’s parents, who said Friday that they had to speak out.
“Kim and his evil regime are responsible for the death of our son Otto. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for unimaginable cruelty and inhumanity. No excuses or lavish praise can change that,” Fred and Cindy Warmbier said in a statement.
Cover image: US President Donald Trump (R) walks with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un during a break in talks at the second US-North Korea summit at the Sofitel Legend Metropole hotel in Hanoi on February 28, 2019. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)