May 17, 2018

Kim Jong-Un Has Mastered the Art of the Deal at Trump’s Expense
Trump Disregards the Emoluments Clause and American National Security to Rescue Jobs in China
Program Notes

We begin with the North Koreans casting doubts on whether the upcoming summit is Singapore between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump will happen on June 12 as they cut off talks with South Korea and lambaste Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton in an official statement saying that it would be a “ridiculous comedy” if Trump payed too much attention to Bolton’s positions and that “we do not hide our feeling of repugnance towards him”. This prompted Trump to distance himself from the hawkish Bolton and try to clarify what Bolton meant by applying the “Libyan model” to disarming North Korea in a garbled and incoherent statement which ended in a threat to decimate North Korea if they did not make a deal with Trump. Jacob Heilbrunn, a Senior Editor at the National Interest and the author of “They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons”, joins us to discuss his article at The Spectator “Could John Bolton cost Trump his Nobel Peace Prize?” and the extent to which Kim Jong-un has mastered the art of the deal and has Trump begging to meet in Singapore, making it clear that it was not Trump’s toughness and threats of “fire and fury” which brought Kim to the negotiating table, but rather Trump’s weakness and his narcissistic need to make a deal”.

Then we look into the highly coincidental reversal by Trump of his campaign mantra that the Chinese were stealing American jobs to has call on Sunday to rescue the Chinese company ZTE from U.S. sanctions because it is costing “too many jobs in China”. This at the same time a State-owned Chinese bank loaned a half a billion dollars to an Indonesian developer in partnership with Trump to build a Disney-like theme park, hotel and golf course in a protected rainforest.  Joining us is Sarah Chayes, a senior associate at the Democracy and Rule of Law Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace who was a special advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and whose latest book is “Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security”.  We will discuss the brazen contempt President Trump has for the emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution as well as his daughter Ivanka who is being paid $1.5 million annually from three companies one of which manages the Indonesian project. Her 2017 financial disclosure was dueTuesday but has not yet been released by the Office of Government Ethics.  But more outrageous is Donald Trump’s almost treasonous disregard of the national security concerns raised by the heads of the CIA, NSA, DIA, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and the Director of National intelligence, all of whom consider ZTE, the Chinese company Trump is rescuing, a national security threat and a front for Chinese Intelligence.

Jacob Heilbrunn | Sarah Chayes