Most news generated from the White House in recent days consists of words spoken rather than things happening.
The China trade war that President Donald Trump said would be “good and easy to win” has been put off. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Sunday both sides would drop their tariff threats pending negotiations.
Because the trade war Trump cried up clearly wasn’t happening, stocks surged Monday.
Trump also issued what he called a public “demand” for federal authorities to investigate his allegation that his campaign was “infiltrated or surveilled” by the FBI.
The agency directed its inspector general to probe the accusations, but the likelihood of a result satisfying to Trump looks dim based on the record.
In March of last year, for example, the Republican president used similar language to “hereby demand” investigations of Democratic congressional leaders.
Much was said. Nothing came of it.
Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani said special counsel Robert Mueller had recently expressed the hope of finishing his probe of possible obstruction of justice by Sept. 1.
But since Giuliani is in no position to speak for Mueller, and the special counsel does not publicly comment, the validity of his claim was hazy.
On Monday, in fact, a source quoted by Reuters said Giuliani “entirely made up” this “arbitrary” deadline.
Other events also have produced more talk than action.
Extending prayers and support in the wake of last week’s high school massacre In Texas, Trump pledged to do “everything in our power to protect our students.”
Previous pledges of the kind became vapor. Clashing calls to arm teachers and impose stricter gun control come and go like network satellite trucks at the killing scenes.
Trump is expected to meet in Washington Tuesday with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, to discuss how to keep on track a June 12 summit meeting between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Nuclear arms in North Korea remain the status quo — except for high-level talk about the wisdom and strategy of future talks.