ABC, NBC Declare Trump’s DMZ Meeting With Kim to Be Just a Photo Op

Despite the fact that there were four North Korean nuclear tests under President Obama and only one under President Trump (none in almost 2 years) and that Obama gave everything away to Cuba for nothing, Sunday’s editions of ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Sunday Today rushed to declare Trump’s historic meeting with Kim Jong-un at the DMZ to be nothing more than just a photo op.

[T]his was the dramatic headline, the dramatic photo that the President wanted. He's a great showman. He pulled it off. There’s just no question about that,” proclaimed ABC chief anchor and Clinton lackey George Stephanopoulos.

There was an echo on NBC were host Willie Geist asked political director Chuck Todd: “Is there a plan from the Trump administration or was it a photo op?” Todd hinted at it being just that, noting: “The last two ended up looking as if they were photo ops in the end. We thought they could lead to something, but they didn't.”

Stephanopoulos argued that there were no political or substantive outcomes from Trump’s previous talks with the North Korean dictator.

“Politically, the President had seemed like at first a successful meeting in Singapore with Kim Jong-un, just about a year ago. That didn't seem to change his approval ratings one way or another,” he claimed. “He had a failed summit in Hanoi with Kim Jong-un, earlier this year. That didn't change his approval ratings one way or another. I'm not sure that there's that much political impact either way.”

But that was untrue, according to Todd. “The highest job approval rating we ever recorded for the President came after that first meeting with Kim Jong-un,” Todd told Geist. Todd insisted that the reason Trump continued to engage with North Korea was that he was desperately trying to “recapture that moment, recapture, you know, with some other replacement shiny moment.

 

 

ABC then tried to discredit President Trump’s claim that Obama’s handling of the North Korea situation was a “fiery mess”. They noted that Trump did send out some incendiary tweets (“fire and fury”), but wrote off the progress. “It is true that there have not been any long-range ballistic missile tests but there have been short-term tests. It doesn’t appear that Kim Jong-un has held back his nuclear program in any meaningful way,” Stephanopoulos.

Meanwhile, there were four nuclear bomb tests throughout Obama’s two terms in office (1 in the first term). So far, there had only been one in Trump’s first term and none in almost 2 years since an apparent hydrogen bomb was tested in 2017.

Todd was a little more overt in his dismissal of the meeting. “So, it's hard to anticipate anything more than this being a photo op that leads to more talks that may not lead to anything,” he lamented.

“Yeah, as many experts have pointed out, that handshake is a scene you would see after the deal when everything has been done,” Geist chided. Yet, NBC was glad to be the mouthpiece for the Obama administration’s Cuba policies that got no concessions from the communist government. At least Trump wasn’t letting up on the sanction for nothing in return.

From there, NBC went further and suggested that Trump was more comfortable “meeting with strong men around the world” and “joking with Vladimir Putin” than meeting with U.S. allies. “It was a busy week for President Trump and he showed a lot of affinity for strongmen overseas,” Geist asserted.

Todd agreed. And without evidence, he suggested that U.S. allies have a “hard” time getting “get meetings with this President sometimes” because of his meeting with strongmen.

Not once did Stephanopoulos or Todd call the meeting and Trump's entry into North Korea (the first for any U.S. president) historic, which it factually was.

The transcripts are below, click "expand" to read:

ABC’s Good Morning America
June 30, 2019
8:06:10 a.m. Eastern

DAN HARRIS: So, that was captivating, a little chaotic. Even though there was no progress on the underlying denuclearize talks, is just restarting the talks a win?

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: I don't know about win or lose. But what we do know, as Jon [Karl] just pointed out, this was the dramatic headline, the dramatic photo that the President wanted. He's a great showman. He pulled it off. There’s just no question about that.

But when you're looking first of all politically and then substantively, politically the President had seemed like at first a successful meeting in Singapore with Kim Jong-un, just about a year ago. That didn't seem to change his approval ratings one way or another. He had a failed summit in Hanoi with Kim Jong-un, earlier this year. That didn't change his approval ratings one way or another. I'm not sure that there's that much political impact either way.

The big question, is the one that Jon gets too, is will this lead to any kind of substantive progress?

HARRIS: The President is saying, there's been progress already. His quote this morning was that, “under the previous administration, Barack Obama, negotiations with North Korea were a fiery mess.” So, is he right that he’s moved the ball forward in any meaningful way?

STEPHANOPOULOS: In fact, the tensions increased the most when President Trump first came into office, and you had those fiery tweets between him and Kim Jong-un. That tension--

HARRIS: “Fire and fury.”

STEPHANOPOULOS: “Fire and fury.” That tension clearly has gone down. But when you look at the substance, even though the President now has had three meetings with Kim Jong-un. Not only is, as Jon Karl points out, that the North Korean nuclear program fully in place, in fact, according to U.S. intelligence estimates, his nuclear stockpile has actually increased over the last year.

It is true that there have not been any long-range ballistic missile tests but there have been short-term tests. It doesn’t appear that Kim Jong-un has held back his nuclear program in any meaningful way.

 

NBC’s Sunday Today
June 30, 2019
8:07:09 a.m. Eastern

WILLIE GEIST: Chuck, good morning. So, we had Singapore. We had Hanoi. And now we have a meeting at the DMZ which, by the way, was much more than the handshake we saw. There were about 50 minutes of talks behind closed doors. Is there a plan from the Trump administration or was it a photo op?

CHUCK TODD: Well, we’re going to find out. The last two ended up looking as if they were photo ops in the end. We thought they could lead to something, but they didn't. The first one having the summit gave the President a boost that he had never gotten before. The highest job approval rating we ever recorded for the President came after that first meeting with Kim Jong-un.

And I think in some ways, Willie, the President keeps recapture that moment, recapture, you know, with some other replacement shiny moment. But the fact is, after their second meeting North Korea apparently, Kim Jong-un executed the negotiating team there.

So, it's hard to anticipate anything more than this being a photo op that leads to more talks that may not lead to anything. So, at some point the President needs progress. He hasn't gotten any yet.

GEIST: Yeah, as many experts have pointed out, that handshake is a scene you would see after the deal when everything has been done.

It was just the latest though, Chuck, this week of the President at the G20 meeting with strong men around the world. Joking with Vladimir Putin at the request only of the media. Hey, don't meddle in our election, sort of with a smile on his face. Very chummy with the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, who American's own intelligence agencies said directly ordered the murder of a Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

It was a busy week for President Trump and he showed a lot of affinity for strong men overseas.

TODD: It is one of those. Boy, what would the Republican reaction had been had President Obama had a handshake with Kim Jong-un before doing these things? You go through all of these back and forths that this President has done, and they are certainly unusual.

I think the meeting list there tells you where he is more comfortable with these authoritarian leaders perhaps in some form. He likes the transactional politics. Whatever you want to look at it, there is -- he does like that sort of transactional mindset. And I think that's what makes it more attractive to him.

But, I’ll tell you, it is really sending quite the message to the more traditional allies of the United States. It's hard for them to get meetings with this President sometimes.

NB Daily Foreign Policy Asia North Korea Double Standards Broadcast Television ABC Good Morning America NBC Today Video Chuck Todd Willie Geist George Stephanopoulos Donald Trump Kim Jong Un

Sponsored Links