Off again, on again . . .
The recently called off high-stakes Singapore Summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un might be back on as experts crossed into North Korea to try to salvage a deal.
Trump, via Twitter, said Sunday that U.S. officials had arrived in North Korea “for the Summit between Kim Jong Un and myself. I truly believe North Korea has brilliant potential and will be a great economic and financial Nation one day. Kim Jong Un agrees with me on this. It will happen!”
Janison: Marketplace haggling
Janison on the North Korea talks, writes, “If there’s any sense to the toggling between high praise and personal insults, perhaps it’s in the tradition of the marketplaces in some countries.
“It’s a rote scene. A low offer is made for an item. The seller calls the negotiator and his entire ancestral line a pack of dogs. The offer changes. Mutual insults wax and wane and somehow a deal is struck.”
Giuliani: Impeachment vote target of Mueller attacks
President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani gave a look at why the president and his allies have focused attacks on special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign and Russian collusion.
Asked by CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday whether there was a larger strategy to undermine the investigation at play, Giuliani said: “We have to do it in defending the president. To a large extent, remember Dana, what we’re doing here, it is the public opinion, because eventually the decision here is going to be impeach or not impeach,” Giuliani said on CNN’s State of the Union.
Giuliani added, “They’re giving us the material to do it” and said he now considers the probe illegitimate.
Giuliani and some legal experts have maintained that a president can’t be indicted, which would mean that any damaging consequences for the president from the Mueller investigation would be meted out by members of Congress, whom always have an eye on the polls.
The young, the beautiful (and others)
Trump on Sunday decried the fallout from the Russia investigation.
“Who’s going to give back the young and beautiful lives (and others) that have been devastated and destroyed by the phony Russia Collusion Witch Hunt?” Trump tweeted Sunday morning.
He said they “journeyed down to Washington D.C., with stars in their eyes and wanting to help our nation. . . . They went back home in tatters.”
Trump did not specify whom he was referring to, but a number of former campaign aides have met with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators and racked up large legal bills.
What else is happening
- American missionary Josh Holt was freed from Venezuela after being held without trial since 2016 and welcomed at the White House
- Chief of Staff John F. Kelly first said federal law enforcement officials wouldn’t have to compromise confidential sources on the Russia investigation. Then Justice officials did have to disclose that information, according to The New York Times.
- Rudy Giuliani told The Associated Press that the White House wants a briefing on the classified info shared with lawmakers about the FBI investigation origins.
- U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake calls for GOP to stand up to Trump, says a presidential run is not in his plans but he has “not ruled anything out.”
- The media debate over when to call presidential false statements “lies.”
- White House special assistant Kelly Sadler blamed her boss for the leak of a “nasty shot” at John McCain in an Oval Office meeting with the president, someone leaked to Axios.
- Rep. Peter King stands with President Trump, not a Jets fan.
- Trump on Saturday blamed Democrats for his administration’s policy to separate children from their parents when they cross the U.S. border, although Attorney General Jeff Sessions promised to do exactly this last month.