Trump Says He’ll Use “My Touch, My Feel” To Assess Kim Jong-un’s Nuclear Plans

And other ramblings from the G7 summit.

President Donald Trump attends a breakfast with G7 leaders and members of the Gender Equality Advisory Council in Quebec City. Michael Kappeler/AP

Shortly before bailing out early on the Group of 7 nations meetings held outside of Quebec City this weekend, President Trump made some curious remarks about his upcoming face-to-face meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un: He says he will know within one minute of meeting Kim Jong-un whether he is serious about getting rid of his nuclear weapons. Reports the New York Times:

“Just my touch, my feel. That’s what I do,” Mr. Trump said. “You know, the way they say you know if you’re going to like somebody in the first five seconds. Did you ever hear that one? Well, I think that very quickly I’ll know whether or not something good is going to happen.”

It was a wide-ranging news conference that Trump also used to lambast what he called “ridiculous and unacceptable” tariffs on American goods around the world, threatening to end all trade with his G7 counterparts if they didn’t right what he considers unfair trade practices. “We’re like the piggy bank that everybody’s robbing—and that ends,” he vowed. He once again characterized the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada as one of the worst trade deals the United States has ever agreed to.

When asked about his calls for Russia to be reinstated to the Group of 7 nations, which had been expelled after it invaded Crimea in 2014, President Trump blamed former President Barrack Obama for Russia’s annexation of Crimea, saying, “Crimea was let go during the Obama administration, and you know, Obama can say all he wants, but he allowed Russia to take Crimea. I may have had a much different attitude, but, so, you really have to ask that question to President Obama. You know, why did he do that?”

President Trump’s remarks were so free-wheeling that the panel on MSNBC’s AM Joy wondered about his “state of mind.” CNBC’s John Harwood said, “He did not look well to me in that press conference. He was not speaking logically or rationally…There was something about his affect which was oddly kind of languid from him. I don’t know what it means, but he did not look well to me.”

Mother Jones DC bureau chief David Corn made a similar comment, saying, “If you were talking to me this morning the way we just heard Donald Trump talk, I would ask you if you’d taken any medication, advise you not to operate any heavy machinery.”

President Trump will be meeting with Kim Jong-un in Singapore on Tuesday, where he said on Saturday he expects to “at least start a dialogue” with the North Korean leader.

OUR NEW CORRUPTION PROJECT

The more we thought about how MoJo's journalism can have the most impact heading into the 2020 election, the more we realized that so many of today's stories come down to corruption: democracy and the rule of law being undermined by the wealthy and powerful for their own gain.

So we're launching a new Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption. We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We'll publish what we find as a major series in the summer of 2020, including a special issue of our magazine, a dedicated online portal, and video and podcast series so it doesn't get lost in the daily deluge of breaking news.

It's unlike anything we've done before and we've got seed funding to get started, but we're asking readers to help crowdfund this new beat with an additional $500,000 so we can go even bigger. You can read why we're taking this approach and what we want to accomplish in "Corruption Isn't Just Another Scandal. It's the Rot Beneath All of Them," and if you like how it sounds, please help fund it with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate