CNN Panel Whines: Trump ‘Whiffed’ Statement on North Korea Launch, too Reserved

News broke late Saturday night that North Korea launched a missile in a show of force during the Japanese Prime Minister’s visit to the United States. During a quickly put together media event PM Shinzo Abe spoke first to condemn the launch and was backed up with a brief statement of support from President Donald Trump. But that wasn’t enough for CNN’s Inside Politics, whose Nia-Malika Henderson proclaimed, “He has talked tough, I think Trump, on Twitter about North Korea, but when it got to his time to be that tough person that we've come to know, he just kind of whiffed I think in many ways.

According to the entire panel, President Trump should have said more and come out stronger against the communist regime. “It was essentially like 140 characters he was using there, 240 characters or so, so I think it was very striking because it's a Trump we're not used to seeing without the kind of bluster and strength,” Henderson continued, comparing Trump’s comments Saturday night to a tweet.

It was, I don't know the right word for it, just bizarre that's all we heard from the president,” stated host John King. But this complaint is coming from the news outlet that demanded little from former President Obama the morning after the attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya.

The Daily Beast’s Jackie Kucinich whined that Trump wasn’t tweeting his condemnation of the missile launch. “During the campaign, we're saying, ‘Okay, he talks tough, but what happens when something actually happens,” she recalled, “And right now it's silence. And it's not like he's up and tweeting. He's up and tweeting.

The panel then turned to bashing the president’s knowledge (or lack thereof) about the subject and his refusal to read a prepared statement placed on the lectern ahead of time. “It's almost like there isn't a depth of knowledge there perhaps and he didn't feel comfortable reading the statement, we don't know,” Kucinich chided, “But saying, “Yeah, what he said,” when you boil down the statement to what he said last night.

The New York Times’ Johnathan Martin seemed to make the argument that the White House’s prepared statement was too intelligent for Trump:

If you saw the statement which, I think, a Reuters photog had a picture of on Twitter. You can sort of make out most of the text. Let’s put it this way, it didn't quite sound like the words that would typically come from the mouth of Donald J. Trump. So, I think, he may have had some reluctance to actually speak using that of, sort of, high-tone diplomatic language that's not really him. Whereas, there a one-sentence tough talk type like he did is Trumpian.

It’s hypocritical for the liberal media to bemoan the fact that Trump didn't come out and make the controversial statement they wanted him too (and would complain about for another news cycle). During the campaign they didn’t bat an eye at Hillary Clinton’s argument that Trump was so unstable his tweets would start World War III, in fact they talked about it as a possibility. So, to now complain that he was being too reserved is ridiculous.

Transcript below:

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CNN
Inside Politics
February 12, 2017
8:04:51 PM Eastern

JOHN KING: It's striking. And again, it happened last night so we'll get more reporting throughout the day. But they did put a longer statement. The aide was walked in and photographed. There was an aid who put down a statement for the president on that lectern and he just decided not to read it.

JOHNATHAN MARTIN: Yeah, I was going to say. Glenn makes hugely important points, but even if you had all that staff infrastructure, if the president of the United States doesn't give the statement that he's given and instead stands up and says one sentence and then walks away, all that staff in the world just doesn't matter, if the president of the United States wants to go his own way. We should, by the way, note to our viewers here, this is not just some issue of some distant Asia question. There are thousands of American troops right now at this hour in South Korea and have been there for over half a century and this is in our direct interest we're talking about.

KING: Look it's important for Prime Minister Abe. I thought, the president letting Prime Minister Abe going first on U.S. home turf was an important statement because this is his home turf and this is clearly North Korea—The timing was no accident here. They’re testing Trump, but they’re also testing the Japanese prime minister who is on the road. But it was, I don't know the right word for it, just bizarre that's all we heard from the president.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON: Especially given that we hear from this president so much about so many different things and here was this moment where North Korea is essentially testing long-range nuclear missiles that could reach the U.S. That's their ultimate goal. This was something that Obama talked to Trump about on his way out as a pressing issue. He has talked tough I think Trump on Twitter about North Korea, but when it got to his time to be that tough person that we've come to know, he just kind of whiffed I think in many ways. Not reading that statement.

I mean, it was -- I guess it was -- it was essentially like 140 characters he was using there, 240 characters or so, so I think it was very striking because it's a Trump we're not used to seeing without the kind of bluster and strength.

KING: Right, it's the first time we've seen him in this situation where he's been provoked by another government and during the transition. You mentioned President Obama. A lot of people said, you know, “You focused on this the travel ban (which we’ll talk about in a minute. You’re focused on this, overseas here. North Korea is going to be the first test. Just look for it.”

JACKIE KUCINICH: Well, right. And again, during the campaign, we're saying, “Okay, he talks tough, but what happens when something actually happens? And right now it's silence. And it's not like he's up and tweeting. He's up and tweeting.

HENDERSON: This morning.

KUCINICH: This morning, about illegal immigration and Bernie Sanders bizarrely. But, again, it's almost like there isn't a depth of knowledge there perhaps and he didn't feel comfortable reading the statement, we don't know. But saying, “Yeah, what he said” when you boil down the statement to what he said last night.

MARTIN: If you saw the statement which, I think, a Reuters photog had a picture of on Twitter. You can sort of make out most of the text. Let’s put it this way, it didn't quite sound like the words that would typically come from the mouth of Donald J. Trump. So, I think, he may have had some reluctance to actually speak using that of, sort of, high-tone diplomatic language that's not really him. Whereas, there a one-sentence tough talk type like he did is Trumpian.

KUCINICH: That wasn’t even tough talk.

HENDERSON: That wasn’t even tough talk.

KUCINICH: That was like, “Yeah, yeah, I really like this guy and I stand behind him.”

CyberAlerts Foreign Policy North Korea Covert Liberal Activists Double Standards CNN Inside Politics Video John King Nia-Malika Henderson Jackie Kucinich Jonathan Martin Donald Trump