Report: Trump Told Staff To Portray Him As "Crazy Guy"

Chris Menahan
Oct. 09, 2017

President Donald Trump's wild man talk on North Korea is purely strategic, according to a report from Axios last week.

From Axios:
In an Oval Office meeting in early September, President Trump gave his top trade negotiator, Robert Lighthizer, an Art of the Deal-style coaching session on how to negotiate with the South Koreans.

Trump's impromptu coaching came in the middle of a pivotal conversation with top officials about whether or not to withdraw from the U.S.-Korean trade deal. Sources familiar with the conversation recounted the exchange for Axios, and the White House did not dispute this account.

A number of senior officials and cabinet secretaries were present for the conversation, including Defense Secretary Mattis, Agriculture Secretary Perdue, and Secretary of State Tillerson. At issue was whether the U.S. would withdraw from the Korean trade deal -- an action Trump threatened but still hasn't done.

"You've got 30 days, and if you don't get concessions then I'm pulling out," Trump told Lighthizer.

"Ok, well I'll tell the Koreans they've got 30 days," Lighthizer replied.

"No, no, no," Trump interjected. "That's not how you negotiate. You don't tell them they've got 30 days. You tell them, 'This guy's so crazy he could pull out any minute.'"

"That's what you tell them: Any minute," Trump continued. "And by the way, I might. You guys all need to know I might. You don't tell them 30 days. If they take 30 days they'll stretch this out."
The report goes on to say it's the same situation with his talk on North Korea. I don't personally think threatening North Korea actually benefits anything, but at least this means there's some logic behind it.

The time to act on North Korea, if there ever was a time to act, was two decades ago before they got nukes.

I strongly believe working with the North Koreans and bringing them into the modern world would do more to undermine their government than any threats.

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