Donald Trump has... erm... we’re not even sure anymore.
The President of the United States who is a 71-year-old adult currently representing the world’s most powerful country on a tour of Asia, last night tweeted this...
The USA has been locked in a war of words with North Korea since the country’s inception in 1948 and since that time the West has become accustomed to bizarre insults from a paranoid and dictatorial state.
Successive US presidents have risen above the pettiness but Trump appears to think that reducing the rhetoric on both sides to the level of a stroppy four-year-old will somehow defuse the world’s tensest nuclear stand-off.
The President was responding to a statement on Saturday in which North Korea said:
“Reckless remarks by an old lunatic like Trump will never scare us or stop our advance. On the contrary, all this makes us more sure that our choice to promote economic construction at the same time as building up our nuclear force is all the more righteous, and it pushes us to speed up the effort to complete our nuclear force.”
Instead of addressing the threat of nuclear proliferation Trump responded with the very qualities he’s accused of possessing by North Korea.
During the very same day Trump said he was prepared to mediate between claimants to the South China Sea, which include Vietnam and China.
“If I can help mediate or arbitrate, please let me know,” Trump said in comments at the start of a meeting in Hanoi with Vietnam’s president, Tran Dai Quang.
Trump acknowledged that China’s position on the South China Sea, nearly all of which is claimed by Beijing, was a problem.
“I’m a very good mediator and arbitrator,” he said.
That tweet once again...
On the plus side it did spawn this amazing spoof.
The extraordinary outburst came shortly after Trump contradicted his own intelligence agencies by saying he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claim that the Kremlin did not attempt to interfere in the 2016 election.
Trump spoke with the Russian leader this week in Vietnam during a joint summit with other Asia-Pacific countries.
Asked by a reporter if the subject of Russian election interference came up, Trump said: “He said he absolutely did not meddle in our election. He did not do what they are saying he did.
“Every time he sees me, he says, ‘I didn’t do that,’ and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it. But he says, ‘I didn’t do that.’”
Trump also took multiple shots at his 2016 rival Hillary Clinton and lamented that Putin is “very insulted” by the accusations of election meddling.
But later on Trump backtracked at a news conference in Vietnam, distancing himself from the remarks.
“As to whether I believe it or not, I’m with our agencies, especially as currently constituted,” Trump said.
“As currently led, by fine people, I believe very much in our intelligence agencies.”
He was careful to make clear he sided with the intelligence agencies under his own leadership.
Former US intelligence director James Clapper had told Reuters: “The fact the president of the United States would take Putin at his word over that of the intelligence community is quite simply unconscionable.”