During Wednesday's edition of Morning Joe, the panel almost seemed happy that the President’s planned summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un scheduled for June 12 may not pan out. Host Joe Scarborough accused President Trump of being “allergic to complexity and allergic to history,” in addition to accusing the people around him of being “contemptuous of history.”
President Trump accepted an invitation to meet with Kim Jong-un, scheduling their meeting for June 12 in Singapore. While liberals worried that the back-and-forth between the two leaders that took place last year would lead to a nuclear war, the relationship between the hermit kingdom and the United States has had quite a few positive developments in recent weeks. Kim Jong-un released three American hostages without getting anything in return. Kim Jong-un also crossed the Demilitarized Zone to shake hands with the South Korean President; the first time this has happened since the Korean War. Kim Jong-un had also invited Western media outlets to come watch as he destroyed a nuclear test site.
The positive developments appear to have soured a bit as Kim Jong-un cancelled a planned meeting with South Korea in addition to threatening to pull out of the June 12 in response to military drills conducted by the United States and South Korea. Based on the Morning Joe coverage, one would easily conclude that the meeting has 100 percent been called off.
Referring to North Korea’s threat to pull out of the summit, Scarborough said that “for anybody that has spent any time understanding how North Korea plays the United States and the West, yesterday wasn’t a surprise at all.” He then outlined all of the previous failed attempts to negotiate with and denuclearize North Korea, trying to drive home the point that the President should have expected a failure to negotiate with the North Koreans: “Donald Trump has an aversion, almost, he’s allergic, he’s allergic to, to complexity and allergic to history. He doesn’t know history, he doesn’t want to know history. People around him are contemptuous of history.”
Scarborough then added: “they believe that they can remake history. They believe that they could go into the Middle East and just like that, it would be easy to fix. They told me it was going to be easy to fix.” As footage from some of the violent protests that took place after the United States Embassy in Israel moved to Jerusalem, co-host Mika Brzezinski rolled her eyes and said “Look at this peace in the Middle East.”
Panelist Willie Geist then seemed to imply that a lack of knowledge of history explains “why you make decisions like quickly moving the Embassy, which leads to some of the pictures we’re seeing right there.”
Geist then read aloud a quote from Former CIA Director John Brennan, who now works as an MSNBC Contributor: “This turn of events is unsurprising since Donald Trump seems enamored with a ‘fire-aim-ready’ policy making process that is fraught with pitfalls as well as potential disasters. Not sure when, if ever, Mr. Trump will realize that he is not the smartest man or even the best negotiator in the world. Indeed, far from it.” Meanwhile, most of America remains not sure when, if ever, the media and the left will seek desperately needed help for their Trump Derangement Syndrome.
Former Obama staffer Jeremy Bash compared President Trump to “that guy at the school auction who always has his hand up. You know, when ego is involved, he's going to overpay.” The media can talk about President Trump’s ego all they want but their ego prevents them from covering the Trump Administration fairly.
Even if President Trump did meet all of his goals in the upcoming summit with North Korea, the media would probably still refuse to scale back their 90 percent negative coverage of the President.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: I just think it, it’s not like they had history to look at, right?
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Well, you know, the thing is…
BRZEZINSKI: I mean, how would they know?
SCARBOROUGH: Let us hope that something good comes out of this but yesterday, for anybody that has spent any time understanding how North Korea plays the United States and the West, yesterday wasn’t a surprise at all. We’ve always been concerned here that there’s been a belief inside the White House, even before they got sworn in, that history was going to start on January 20, 2017. They were contemptuous of history, contemptuous of being told this is how history has unfolded in the past and say, “Well, you guys don’t get it. Everybody’s getting it wrong.” But the problem with not knowing history is what John Heilemann?
JOHN HEILEMANN: You’re, I think, it’s condemned to repeat it. That’s Santayana, I believe.
SCARBOROUGH: Yeah, exactly. And as the New York Times’s Gerry Mullany points out, this wavering is not new for North Korea, it’s a return to form. The United States reached a landmark agreement, supposedly, with North Korea in 1994. Nobel Peace Prizes were handed out for that but it collapsed in 2002 after North Korea admitted that they had actually used that agreement to build their clandestine nuclear program and enrich uranium. And after withdrawing from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, North Korea agreed then, hey, okay, we’ll take part in the six-party talks with the United States and regional powers. And they promised in 2005, what sounded like they were promising over the past week or two, it’s been going so fast, but they promised to abandon nuclear weapons and all existing nuclear programs. But the following year, it conducted a nuclear test; its first nuclear test. In 2008, Washington dropped North Korea from its list of state-sponsored terrors. Why? I have no idea. But they agreed to send the North economic aid in returning for disclosing and disabling nuclear facilities. Guess what? Within a year, after months of provocative behavior, North Korea said it would permanently pull out any, of any nuclear disarmament talks and the Communist regime, the repressive Communist regime restarted its nuclear program. After pressure from the Obama Administration, a deal was struck in February 2012. It had planned to provide food, aid and halt operations at its Yongbin nuclear reactor, permit inspectors to verify that it had suspended its nuclear missile programs but within a month, North Korea threatened to launch a satellite, killing the agreement. So Mika, this has just been going on and on, as we’ve been saying, since 1994.
BRZEZINSKI: And if you would look at history, you would be a little more, what’s the word? Careful, about being bragadocious about the developments.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: And you’d be also be humble about the possibility of actually getting a deal but John Heilemann, Donald Trump charged into a room, he wasn’t even, a meeting he wasn’t even supposed to be at, said let’s get this summit together, got the summit together and let us hope, I’ll restate, let us hope that North Korea follows through this time, for the first time. But again, the way they have approached this, we’ve said from the beginning, makes these sort of dustup happen.
JOHN HEILEMANN: Yeah, I mean there’s a reason why when the transition was taking place and President Trump and President Obama, or President-Elect Trump and President Obama were still speaking to each other, you know, President Obama said this is the hardest problem you’re going to face, it’s the most dangerous problem, not just the most dangerous, most threatening problem, but also the hardest one to solve. And that was hard-won wisdom because President Obama had, had seen what had come before him and then what happened to him, and I think Donald Trump appreciated the first part, that North Korea was the most dangerous and the most threatening problem and he clearly wants to try and solve it. It’s like he’s, he does want to fix this problem and yet he didn’t hear the other part, which is it’s the hardest problem and if you understood the complexity of it and the history, you would have known that just swaggering and…
SCARBOROUGH: Those are two words, you just used two words. Willie, and I mean this, Donald Trump has an aversion, almost, he’s allergic, he’s allergic to, to complexity and allergic to history. He doesn’t know history, he doesn’t want to know history. People around him are contemptuous of history. His closest aides, his family members…
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Jared.
SCARBOROUGH: They believe that they can remake history. They believe that they could go into the Middle East and just like that, it would be easy to fix. They told me it was going to be easy to fix.
BRZEZINSKI: Look at this peace in the Middle East.
SCARBOROUGH: They had a plan, you look at the pictures that are coming out of the Middle East…
BRZEZINSKI: Good Lord.
SCARBOROUGH: That, here we are, a year and a half later, this is what they were telling me, during the transition, was going to be so easy to fix. Because everybody that went before them were fools and idiots, that they knew how to run a real estate company in New York, they certainly could take care of a 4,000-year crisis.
WILLIE GEIST: And that’s why you make decisions like quickly moving the Embassy, which leads to some of the pictures we’re seeing right here. Meanwhile, people who have dealt with this problem are talking about North Korea. Former CIA Director John Brennan, an NBC News Senior National Security Intel Analyst, responded to the news with this statement: “This turn of events is unsurprising since Donald Trump seems enamored with a ‘fire-aim-ready’ policy making process that is fraught with pitfalls as well as potential disasters. Not sure when, if ever, Mr. Trump will realize that he is not the smartest man or even the best negotiator in the world. Indeed, far from it.” Jeremy Bash, let me go to you on this, they, North Korea also mentioned Libya giving up its nuclear program and said it met a miserable fate. It referenced directly John Bolton. What did you read into the activity and are you surprised at all about what North Korea did yesterday?
JEREMY BASH: Well, the statement by Kim Kye-Gwan, the first Vice Minister of North Korea, was really stunning, Willie. It took a direct shot, fired a rhetorical missile directly at John Bolton; basically said his involvement in this process is undermining sort of an understanding that they thought they had, which is they were not going to have to give up their nuclear weapons. And I think, you know, all of the theatrics about the summit and the meeting and the Nobel Prize discussions aside, substantively, this statement pointed to a very significant, possibly unbridgeable difference between the U.S. and North Korean sides. Basically, the North Koreans are saying we are not going to engage in unilateral nuclear disarmament and of course the U.S. position is is that full denuclearization has to be the outcome of these discussions and the reaction I had, Willie, is that the President is sort of like that guy at the school auction who always has his hand up. You know, when ego is involved, he's going to overpay.