Sean Spicer: Sitting Down With Trump Itself Gets Kim Jong Un ‘Everything He Wants’


Former Trump White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer appeared on America’s Newsroom on Fox Wednesday morning and weighed in on most of the day’s Trump news, including the North Korea summit.

The upcoming summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is on the rocks, as the two men (and nations) exchange bluster ahead of the scheduled date. Trump made news on Tuesday when he stated that there was a “very substantial chance” there wouldn’t be a summit at all.

Sean Spicer lightly disagreed, telling Fox News host Bill Hemmer “I think it’s gonna happen.” But he also offered a major caution.

I think what the U.S. Side needs to be prepared for is that right now Kim Jong Un, he is looking to be seen as a world leader and to be seen as a credible leader. By sitting down with a U.S. President at the table, that in and of itself gets him everything he wants. He wants to be seen as a player.

The idea that meeting with the American President gives legitimacy to the state and to Kim’s regime is the number one reason to object to meeting at all. Under the Obama presidency, and prior to that during his primary run against Hillary, Barack Obama infamously stated (and repeated) that he would meet with rogue states and leaders, including Kim, “without preconditions.” The legitimacy argument was raised many times by his opponents, including Hillary Clinton.

Spicer goes on to mention conditions as the key to making the summit even worth doing.

We have to make sure that the concessions that he makes are at the front of this before we even sit down and not give him the opportunity to be seen as a world leader without getting the concessions that we need to make sure that the Korean peninsula is denuclearized. As Greg described in his package a moment ago, it is concerning this is the dismantling of a site that doesn’t do anything as a symbolic gesture. We need to make sure the pomp and circumstance gets pulled back and make sure actual things are done to make sure their nuclear capabilities are dismantled.”

While Spicer was on Fox, the news was smashing across social media that North Korean officials apparently “ghosted” U.S. officials, simply not showing up for a pre-summit meeting.

Most of the exchanges of bravado regarding the summit are what is to be expected between these two leaders. The “I’m not pursuing you, you’re pursuing me” dance is a key aspect of megalomaniacal brinkmanship.

On the other hand, actually skipping meetings is next level. Spicer’s point is that Kim gets a recognition as leader by the mere act of sitting down with Trump. The question now is, does Kim get that same benefit from standing Trump up?

[image via screengrab]

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