WATCH: Donald Trump said he would “negotiate like crazy” with North Korea if he was president during a 1999 interview on Meet the Press. pic.twitter.com/0gJ5WhbtMf
— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) August 9, 2017
On Tuesday President Donald Trump announced that if North Korea continues to threaten the U.S., they will be met with fire and fury, but in 1999 Trump told NBC that he would deal with North Korea by “negotiating like crazy.”
In October 1999, Trump was on Meet the Press with Tim Russert, who asked him if he was president, would he launch a preemptive strike against North Korea? To which Trump responded:
“First I’d negotiate. I would negotiate like crazy, and I’d make sure we try to get the best deal possible… If a man walks up and puts a gun to your head and says ‘give me your money,’ wouldn’t you rather know where he is coming from before he had the gun in his hand? These people, in three or four years are going to be having nuclear weapons, they’re going to have those weapons pointed all over the world, specifically at the United States.”
Jumping back to 2017, Trump reiterated his “fire and fury” threat Wednesday on Twitter by taking it to a nuclear level, specifically reminding the world that the U.S. nuclear arsenal was “far stronger and more powerful than ever before.”
The 1999 Trump however said the biggest problem this world has is nuclear proliferation.
“We have a country out there, North Korea, which is sort of wacko, which is not a bunch of dummies, and they are going out, and they are developing nuclear weapons. And they’re not doing it because they’re having fun doing it, they’re doing it for a reason. And wouldn’t it be good to sit down and really negotiate something, ideally negotiate. Now if that negotiation doesn’t work, you’d better solve the problem now than solve it later. You know it, and every politician knows it, and nobody wants to talk about it.
Russert reminded Trump that a nuclear attack could be devastating to the Asian Peninsula, to which Trump said maybe nuclear war isn’t the answer.
“I’m not talking about us using nuclear weapons….I’m saying we have to do something to stop. You want to do it in five years when they have warheads all over the place? One of them pointing to New York City, to Washington? Is that when you want to do it? Or do you want to do something now? Better do it now, and if they think you’re serious, I deal with lots of people, If they think you’re serious, then they’ll negotiate, and it’ll never come to that.”
So is Trump’s threat a bluff, in order to get Kim Jung-un to negotiate? Or is President Trump way passed negotiating? Or is he ready for a mushroom cloud, as CNN and Fox contributor Harlan Hill’s tweet this morning portrayed so perfectly:
Democrats, this is the time to rally behind the President…
After years of inaction, North Korea must be neutralized NOW.
— Harlan Z. Hill (@Harlan) August 9, 2017
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