Playbook: Pompeo says he’s ‘very optimistic’ about talks between Kim and Trump
SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO briefed reporters around 5:45 this morning in Singapore. He called the summit with North Korea a “mission of peace,” and said that the talks were moving rapidly and will “come to their logical conclusion even more quickly than we had anticipated.” He said he was “very optimistic” about the Kim Jong Un/Trump meeting.
IMPORTANT TO NOTE: Pompeo did not comment on whether the U.S. was willing to draw down troops on the Korean peninsula. “I can only say this,” Pompeo said. “We are prepared to take what will be security assurances that are different, unique than America has been willing to provide previously.”
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POMPEO said he was not concerned about the United States’ relationship with G7 partners. “There are always irritants in relationships,” Pompeo said. “I’m confident that the relations between our country and the G7 countries will move forward on a strong basis.”
ELIANA JOHNSON in Singapore (@elianayjohnson): “Pompeo’s most important message seemed to be this won’t be a tit-for-tat negotiation, a North Korean nuke in exchange for a U.S. economic one: ‘Until we get the outcome that we’re demanding, economic relief is not coming.'”
Good Monday morning. REMINDER: Singapore is 12 hours ahead of the East Coast. So the Trump/Kim summit will happen tonight at around 9 p.m. in D.C.
KNOWING TRUMP … ANNIE KARNI: “Meet the guys who tape Trump’s papers back together”: “Armed with rolls of clear Scotch tape, [Solomon] Lartey and his colleagues would sift through large piles of shredded paper and put them back together, he said, ‘like a jigsaw puzzle.’ Sometimes the papers would just be split down the middle, but other times they would be torn into pieces so small they looked like confetti.
“It was a painstaking project that was the result of a clash between legal requirements to preserve White House records and President Donald Trump’s odd and enduring habit of ripping up papers when he’s done with them – what some people described as his unofficial ‘filing system.’
“Under the Presidential Records Act, the White House must preserve all memos, letters, emails and papers that the president touches, sending them to the National Archives for safekeeping as historical records.
“But White House aides realized early on that they were unable to stop Trump from ripping up paper after he was done with it and throwing it in the trash or on the floor, according to people familiar with the practice. Instead, they chose to clean it up for him, in order to make sure that the president wasn’t violating the law.” https://politi.co/2sMKtsx
QUICK CAMPAIGN $$ BITE … Senate Majority PAC just disclosed spending $1,371,700 on media. They dropped $1.13 million opposing Josh Hawley in Missouri and $233,471.76 supporting Sen. Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota.
THE LATEST IN SINGAPORE — PRESIDENT TRUMP met with SINGAPORE PRIME MINISTER LEE HSIEN LOONG. They discussed “ways to enhance bilateral cooperation on diplomatic, defense, and economic issues to promote stability, security, and prosperity in the region,” according to a readout from the White House.
VIA POOLER NYT’S MARK LANDLER: “At about 11:45, President Trump and Prime Minister Lee crossed the foyer and shook hands, while facing the cameras. Trump mouthed the words ‘thank you,’ and the leaders continued into the dining room.
“They took their seats at the center of a long rectangular table, flanked by their respective delegations. Mike Pompeo was seated with John Bolton to his right and John Kelly to his left. Matt Pottinger, Stephen Miller, and Sarah Huckabee Sanders sat next to each other further down the table. …
“Trump said to Lee: ‘We’ve got very interesting meeting in particular tomorrow, and I just think it’s going to work out very nicely.’
“‘We do appreciate your hospitality, your professionalism, and your friendship,’ he added. Lee replied, ‘Thank you.’”
— REUTERS/SINGAPORE: “Lobster bisque, beef tenderloin and ice cream were on the lunch menu, and there was also an early birthday cake for Trump, who turns 72 on Thursday. Kim remained ensconced in the heavily guarded St. Regis Hotel where he is staying.” https://reut.rs/2LDD0TE
U.S. DELEGATION WITH TRUMP: Mike Pompeo, John Kelly, Josh Bolton, Stephen Miller, Sarah Sanders, Mira Ricardel, Matthew Pottinger, Sarah Tinsley, Stephanie Syptak-Ramnath, Ambassador Michael McKinley, Allison Hooker, Brenan Richards and Melissa Brown.
SINGAPORE TWEETS … THE PRESIDENT at 9:17 p.m.: “Why should I, as President of the United States, allow countries to continue to make Massive Trade Surpluses, as they have for decades, while our Farmers, Workers & Taxpayers have such a big and unfair price to pay? Not fair to the PEOPLE of America! $800 Billion Trade Deficit…”
… at 9:29 p.m.: “And add to that the fact that the U.S. pays close to the entire cost of NATO-protecting many of these same countries that rip us off on Trade (they pay only a fraction of the cost-and laugh!). The European Union had a $151 Billion Surplus-should pay much more for Military!” …
… at 9:42 p.m.: “Germany pays 1% (slowly) of GDP towards NATO, while we pay 4% of a MUCH larger GDP. Does anybody believe that makes sense? We protect Europe (which is good) at great financial loss, and then get unfairly clobbered on Trade. Change is coming!” …
… at 9:45 p.m.: “Great to be in Singapore, excitement in the air!” … “Sorry, we cannot let our friends, or enemies, take advantage of us on Trade anymore. We must put the American worker first!”
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WHAT TO WATCH FOR IN THE TRUMP-KIM SUMMIT — AP’S ERIC TALMADGE in Pyongyang, North Korea: “Analysis: Wit, wisdom are likely tactics from Kim’s playbook”: https://bit.ly/2l4FEGS
— WSJ’S MIKE BENDER, DION NISSENBAUM and MICHAEL R. GORDON: “The Art of the Foreign-Policy Deal: An Insider’s Guide to Trump’s Tactics: An examination of key foreign-policy moments from the president’s first 16 months reveals the traits he brings to bear in international dealings”: https://on.wsj.com/2Mjw3YW
CHINA’S ROLE — “Before Kim Meets Trump, China Gets Jittery About North Korea’s Intentions,” by NYT’s Jane Perlez in Beijing: “In the sudden rush of diplomacy involving North Korea, China has appeared to have the upper hand, hosting the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, twice before his long-anticipated Singapore summit meeting with President Trump even begins.
“Yet as Mr. Kim prepares to finally meet Mr. Trump in Singapore on Tuesday, some analysts say Beijing appears to be getting a sudden case of the jitters. They say the Chinese leaders, who are unused to being on the outside looking in, are growing anxious about whether they can keep their Cold War-era ally firmly in its current orbit around China.
“Leaders in Beijing are worried, experts say, that Mr. Kim might try to counterbalance China’s influence by embracing the United States, North Korea’s longtime enemy. According to analysts, Mr. Kim may seek to do this by offering Mr. Trump some sort of deal, which would probably include some pledge to scrap his nuclear arsenal in exchange for American help to reduce or even eliminate North Korea’s near total dependence on China.” https://nyti.ms/2MjwdQ2
— “China may take bigger role as ‘guarantor and mediator’ after Trump-Kim talks,” by South China Morning Post’s Laura Zhou: “Beijing is expected to take a bigger role in Korean peninsula negotiations after US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un meet on Tuesday – helping the two sides to push forward any deals they make.
“The role would be as a ‘guarantor’, Chinese analysts say, not just of progress on the denuclearization Washington is seeking, but also to ensure what Kim wants most: the safety of his regime.” https://politi.co/2HEpvRj
THE BACKSTORY ON THE G7 FLAP — “What led to Trump’s outburst against Trudeau: Behind the scenes at the G7,” by the Toronto Star’s Tonda MacCharles in Quebec City: “U.S. President Donald Trump greeted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warmly Friday morning as he arrived at the G7. Although he’d tweeted grumpily the night before that Trudeau was ‘so indignant’ about American tariffs, Trump looked happy to see the prime minister. They shook hands and smiled for the cameras, as all eyes were on them. Hours later, they sat down together behind closed doors.