Trump Is Meeting With Kim Jong Un! Wait, Maybe Not. Wait. Yes He Is.

Michael Reynolds/CNP via ZUMA

There are a bunch of headlines today suggesting that Trump is backing off his promise to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. At first this seems like a strained reading of something Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at today’s press briefing, but if you read farther in the transcript someone finally asks a follow-up question that made it very clear what she was saying:

Q: Sarah, you said they promised to denuclearize. Did they promise to denuclearize or did they promise to talk about denuclearizing?

SANDERS: The understanding, the message from the South Korean delegation is that they would denuclearize. And that is what our ultimate goal has always been, and that will have to be part of the actions that we see them take.

Q: Is that before or after the meeting?

SANDERS: We’d have to see concrete and verifiable actions take place.

Q: Before the meeting?

SANDERS: Yes. Yeah.

Sanders is clear they want to see verifiable denuclearization before the meeting. Not that they would talk about denuclearizing, but that they’d actually start doing it before the meeting could take place. But a little later there was this:

In other words, who knows what’s going on? As usual, the Trump White House is a well-oiled machine.

POSTSCRIPT: You know how live TV shows are delayed a few seconds so that censors have time to bleep out bad words? Maybe we need a new rule like that about Trump: Nothing he announces should be reported for 48 hours. After that, if he hasn’t changed his mind, it can be printed or broadcast. How else do you deal with a serial dissembler like Trump who routinely says stuff just for the headlines?

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FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

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