What Really Happened at the Trump-Kim Summit
RUSH: I’m gonna take a stab at explaining what happened at the summit with Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump. Greetings. ‘Cause, folks, frankly, I’m fed up. I don’t care what CNN thinks about the Cohen hearings and I don’t care what the AP is writing about it. It’s predictably negative, it’s predictably chock-full of BS, and I’m just in one of these moods today where I don’t feel like documenting, as we do every day, the media bias and malpractice that we know Trump is up against and that all of us are up against.
This was a shock today. This was a surprise today when Trump backed away from the deal because you remember, you remember, I have it right here in my formerly nicotine-stained fingers. A few days ago we were told, a Princeton history professor and a whole bunch of other people that the Drive-Bys found, told us that this was a bad thing for Trump to be doing while these Cohen hearings are going on because what could happen is that Trump could sign a bad agreement with North Korea just to distract everybody from Michael Cohen.
You know, like Obama did, by giving them nuclear weapons and $150 billion of cash on a pallet, on the tarmac at Tehran International. Of course, they never portray what Obama did with Iran as an absolute disaster. They consider it brilliance. So they were expecting that Trump would have to sign anything in order to claim that he got a deal with the Norks and that that would be the only way that Trump could do damage control against all of the things that Cohen said yesterday.
Well, as is the usual case, the exact opposite happened. Trump did not sign a deal. He walked away from one. And now the Drive-By Media — so predictable — they’ve been telling us for the last week, because of all of Trump’s troubles at home and Cohen, that Trump would be eager for a win and would give away the United States at that summit, literally give away the store. And now that Trump has walked away from the deal, the same Drive-By Media is telling us he did that because of because of the Cohen hearings. Do I have this right?
See, this is the way they set this up. It is impossible in the way they establish narratives for them to ever be wrong. The original prediction, “Trump’s gonna be so shaken by what Cohen says, he’s gonna make any kind of a deal he can that will sell the U.S. down the river.” Then Trump walks away. “Yeah. Because Trump was so blown away by what Cohen said, he had to get out of there. He had to come home. He had to deal with it because of all the damage that Cohen is inflicting.”
Cohen is not inflicting any real damage in any meaningful way. In fact, Cohen ended up blowing up for once and all the Russian collusion narrative! We’ll get into that again and review it, and I will explain my reasoning, because I think that is obvious what happened.
Now, something else that’s frustrating. You and I know that there hasn’t been anything to this Russian collusion from the get-go. And we have known the Steele dossier is fake and filled with lies. Remember when BuzzFeed had a story in January when Cohen was instructed by Trump to lie to Congress? That was so bad, remember, Mueller even come out and said that wasn’t true. And the Drive-Bys still didn’t change the reporting.
The Drive-Bys still continue to report what BuzzFeed said and ignored Mueller denying it. And they concocted all kinds of reasons. “Well, Mueller doesn’t want the truth out there right now, but the fact we know Trump tells people to lie because Trump lies.” So it came up again yesterday and Cohen admitted under exhaustive questioning that Trump never told him to lie to Congress. And then he had a caveat, “It doesn’t work that way. He doesn’t directly tell anybody to lie.” Blown to smithereens. And the Drive-Bys finally had to begrudgingly admit, “Well, maybe that didn’t happen.”
Anyway, none of this has happened, but they’re holding on to it and they won’t let go of it. And no matter what the Mueller report says, they’re not gonna let go of it. They’re just gonna start looking for it in other places. It’s too grand a narrative, too great a narrative. And on that score there is a Never Trumper columnist for the Wall Street Journal, a guy named Holman Jenkins, who has a piece today, the headline is: “The Media Will Re-Elect Trump.”
He doesn’t like Trump. He hates Trump. He’s a Never Trumper. “The Media Will Re-Elect Trump.” I swear I read this twice, and I can’t find anywhere in the story where whoever wrote the headline found that in that. The headline is not — this is one of these days where everybody talking to me and everything I read doesn’t make sense. Have you ever had those days? And I’m blaming it, of course, on the journalists for being lousy with what they did. But in the Holman Jenkins story there’s a wild claim in it that at some point in the next year and a half the Drive-By Media is going to have to report on the illegal activities of the FBI and the DOJ in constructing this false collusion narrative.
He says there’s no choice. They’re gonna have to report this at some point. Based on what? He doesn’t say why. And then he has a caveat (paraphrasing), “And even if they don’t, the alternative media, which nobody respects much, will continue to report it anyway.” Really, I don’t understand the purpose of the piece, other than the guy is afraid the media alone is gonna reelect Trump because of their irresponsibility and their focus here on things that have been demonstrably proven to be untrue and didn’t even happen.
So we were told — this Princeton professor, by the way, Trump would sign a bad deal with North Korea just to distract from the Cohen circus. And now that Trump has walked away from a bad deal, Trump is blasted for even making the effort. Now, Trump is a lousy negotiator. Now Kim Jong-un ran circles around Donald Trump.
And this is because the Drive-By Media is a bunch of manure. You can’t trust a single thing they report when it comes to Donald Trump. And they haven’t the slightest idea what was going on in Hanoi. They haven’t the slightest idea what this was about. They don’t have a clue because they don’t care.
The only thing they care about is driving Donald Trump from office because they think he doesn’t belong in their company and that his election was a gigantic accident that needs to be fixed. So they haven’t slightest idea. They get it in their heads that Trump is a boob and an idiot and doesn’t know what he’s doing. Everybody’s always smarter, everybody’s always craftier, everybody always has a greater strategy.
And they come up with these really simpleton news stories. And then they all follow suit. It doesn’t matter what network you read or watch, it’s all the same take. “Trump is gonna give away the United States because of the Cohen hearings.” Then Trump backs away, doesn’t sign a deal, comes home, cancels the lunch, signing ceremony. “Trump came back because he’s so rattled over the Cohen hearings.” Let me try to explain to you what I think happened. It’s not that hard to find out some really relevant things about this.
Now, to start with, whenever we engage in any kind of negotiations with North Korea, there’s always a third hand at the table. It’s always invisible. And that’s the ChiComs. In this case, Xi Jinping, the head honcho, the president for life in China is always the invisible hand. And North Korea doesn’t exist and doesn’t stay in existence without the ChiComs.
Some setup for you. China is North Korea’s largest provider of food, fuel, and industrial machinery. Not us. China support for the Norks goes back to the Korean War. That’s back before many of you were even thoughts in your mother’s and father’s dreams. North Korea’s largest trading partner is the ChiComs. Roughly 90% of North Korean trade is done with the ChiComs. Kim Jong-un has visited the ChiComs four times, most recently in January. And when Kim Jong-un visits the ChiComs, it’s because he has been summoned. It is not because he needs to restock Johnnie Walker Blue, although he may do that.
Kim Jong-un drives a $1.6 million Maybach Mercedes. That’s his official limo. His people are eating roof tiles and other scraps from the ground. So there’s also another key element to this. We’re in the midst of trade negotiations with who? The ChiComs. And the United States, Donald Trump is trying to drastically alter the trade arrangements, the trade relationship, the deals that we have with China on the basis that we’re getting screwed, on the basis that previous American leaders have made bad deals for the United States because it’s just easier and there’s more political upside to come way and say you got a deal. “I just negotiated a successful trade deal with China.” Everybody says, “Way to go!” But Trump maintains they’re horrible, and we’re in the process of reversing these deals.
Then you throw into this mix sanctions. We have sanctions on the Norks. It was one of the reasons why the Chinese are the only people that they really can trade with is because there are sanctions on North Korea. You know, Iran sends ’em some stuff and some other enemies of the U.S., but it’s really, really been cut back. China is, as I say, 90%. And Kim Jong-un has got nothing if the ChiComs are not there. So that is where he’s gonna be loyal.
We have tariffs that have been implemented on the ChiComs. And this is to change the balance of trade. Right now the ChiComs do not import very much U.S. product. This is under review and is being changed. The president is placing tariffs on the import of Chinese products, certain Chinese manufactured goods, until they agree to import more American manufactured goods, as well as agriculture. And in fact last week a side deal, a new side deal for the benefit of American farmers was reached on soybeans where the ChiComs agreed to purchase an unprecedented quantity of soybeans unlike they had ever purchased before. It was a show of good faith.
Now, in the midst of all of this, you got Trump in Hanoi meeting with the little pot belly dictator arriving in his Maybach Mercedes who is totally, totally in the tank for Xi Jinping and the ChiComs. There was scheduled to be a tariff increase tomorrow, March 1st, on the ChiComs as part of the ongoing negotiations and the placement of tariffs tomorrow there was supposed to be the implementation of new tariffs, higher tariffs on Chinese goods coming into the United States.
Prior to leaving for Hanoi, the Trump administration suspended the implementation of the tariffs that were scheduled to go into effect tomorrow. This was, I’m certain, a show of good faith and a recognition that the deal that was underway here was important and to show that we’re gonna suspend, not remove, but we’re gonna suspend the implementation of new tariffs on the ChiComs as a show of good faith in the negotiations with Kim Jong-un and the Norks.
This I think is where the problem lies. I think Xi Jinping saw this. Trump’s suspending tariffs? There’s no reason to talk. It was a show of good faith that backfired. I’m guessing. I’m looking at all this and I’m trying to figure out what happened. And so Trump cannot leave Hanoi and get back to Washington and say, “Okay. You know what? I’m gonna reimplement those March 1 tariffs.” I don’t think that’s how you deal with this. Let some time pass and you deal with it in other ways. It would just be too obvious that this kind of thing is – it just wouldn’t be good.
I think down the road you’re gonna see the United States get tougher with the Norks. We’re gonna continue on the trade talks with the ChiComs and maintain our status, and we are gonna eventually reinstitute the tariff increase. We’re also gonna get tougher on the Norks. I really think that suspending the tariff — it’s not the whole reason, but the way these guys look, “Oh, Trump making concession before he even arrives. We win. We win.” Before even getting an agreement out of Kim Jong-un. So a show of good faith, just like there’s no such thing as a show of good faith with the Democrats or with the American left.
Look. I’m just piecing things together here based on whatever I’ve been able to find. This could be all wet. But it’s far more fascinating to me than what the AP or CNN thinks of Michael Cohen, that circus yesterday.
RUSH: So the bottom line is that Donald Trump was not going to alter our trade status and negotiation position with the ChiComs just to get a deal with the Norks, because Trump knows the Norks serve at the pleasure of the ChiComs. You know, the ChiComs are just incredibly wealthy. The Norks are barely, barely surviving. The Norks cannot survive on their own, and I think this was an attempt, again, to say, “As a show of good faith. We’ll suspend the implementation of the new round of tariffs tomorrow.”
And Xi Jinping says, “Okay. Fine. Well, if you’ll willing to go that far, then we’re also demanding X, Y, and Z.” And Trump’s saying, “No way.” And I guarantee you that these talks that broke down were not about denuclearization of North Korea. I mean, they might have talked about it, but what was actually happening on the table was that Trump was being faced with demands to end all of this talk about tariffs and revised trade deals with the ChiComs.
I think that is what I think Trump walked away from.
I don’t think Trump is gonna alter his position with the ChiComs no matter what the North Koreans might offer and do, and I think that’s why this thing ended and blew up.
RUSH: Now, let’s throw one other thing in this mix to try and understand what’s going on. I know that the objective that the president has is to get the North Koreans to denuclearize and to promise to do so. But I think there’s something else that is an objective. Let’s go through these stats here again. China is North Korea’s largest provider of food, fuel, industrial machinery. China’s support for North Korea dates back to the Korean War.
North Korea’s largest trading partner is the ChiComs. Ninety percent of the Norks’ trade is done with China, and China is who is in the greatest violation of sanctions on the Norks right now. The sanctions that we have placed on the North Koreans until they denuke are huge; China is violating them. That’s why the Norks are still eating. Kim Jong-un’s been to China four times, most recently in January 2019. Now, granted I think Trump wants to get them to denuke, but how?
I mean, you’re not gonna walk over there ever… You’re not gonna be able to use morality, and you’re not gonna be able to use fear. “Hey, Kim Jong-un, you having North Korea nuclear weapons a bad idea. You need to get rid of ’em.” “Yeah, why?” “Because you need to get rid of them!” That isn’t gonna work. How do you do it? What did Trump do in that first summit? Does anybody remember? He prepared a video of what an economically developed North Korea could look like. Hotels and casinos — basically a coastline of Trump real estate development.
Beaches, modern hotels, condominiums and so forth. He showed Kim Jong-un what’s possible in capitalism and free markets and said, “This can be yours if you become our number one trading partner.” I actually think that Trump’s primary objective is to bust up the relationship between the Norks and the ChiComs. Now, that would be a major deal to pull off. (chuckles) But I think that’s one of the things that Trump has as an objective. Why show these guys…? The ChiComs are never gonna let the Norks do things like that.
The ChiComs… It may be unrealistic to think that the Norks could ever be separated from the ChiComs as well, but I think this is the pitch, because everybody knows that Kim Jong-un basically likes to live like a Las Vegas mogul. And if his country could provide that for him where he doesn’t have to run around the world and buy it, steal it, or what have you… I wouldn’t be surprised if this is one of the pitches. Now, the ChiComs are not just gonna sit idly by and let this happen.
They’re not gonna sit idly by and let Trump drive a wedge between the North Koreans and the Chinese. So Trump cancels the implementation of the next round of tariffs scheduled to hit tomorrow, and this causes, I think, Xi Jinping to tell Kim Jong-un, “Okay. You’re not making any deals. I don’t care what’s on the table. We’ve got your back in this,” because I think Xi Jinping knows exactly what Trump’s objectives here are, and they’re not just denuking North Korea.
Now, some of our allies in the region like Japan and South Korea might look at this and say, “Wait a minute! That’s never gonna happen. What are you…? You’re never gonna pry North Korea away from the Chinese.” Well, probably not, but what do you get along the way? Remember, in any negotiation you start out with things you never expect to get and you include a bunch of throwaways so that you can appear to be giving things up and compromising and so forth, and I don’t think anybody — Trump, anybody.
I don’t think anybody thought this session was gonna result in anything substantive. Whatever was signed, it wasn’t going to be the end. So it’s just the next phase, and this is why Trump came home, because it had been shut down, and there’s no way of signing anything that’s fatuous and irrelevant. That’s not gonna move things forward. So just come home and let them stew over what might have been.
And then later on, a month or two now, you start tightening the screws on the sanctions with North Korea even more in your trade negotiations with the ChiComs. So we’ll see. But this was never gonna happen overnight, never gonna happen in two summits. It was never gonna happen this week, whether there were Cohen hearings or not. Let’s go to the audio sound bites. Here is the president very early this morning in Hanoi, a press conference explaining what happened, a little bit of what he said here…
THE PRESIDENT: He’s quite a guy and quite a character, and I think our relationship is very strong. But at this time… We had some options, and at this time we decided not to do any of the options. And we’ll see where that goes. But it was… It was a very interesting two days, and I think, actually, it was a very productive two days. But sometimes you have to walk. And this was just one of those times.
RUSH: Now, the Drive-Bys are out saying that Kim Jong-un ate Trump’s lunch. Trust me, this did not happen. Kim Jong-un did not get a single thing he wanted here. What Kim Jong-un wants is the lifting of sanctions. He wants to be able to get stuff from places other than China. I mean, they may be close allies, but I guarantee you, Kim Jong-un doesn’t like having to depend on ’em. He doesn’t like to take orders from the president for life in China, Xi Jinping. So he didn’t get anything he wanted here because he wanted the sanctions lifted. Major Garrett said, “Has this process been more difficult than you thought, and was the North Korean demand for lifting some of the sanctions the real sticking point here, in that you didn’t want to do that and they did?”
THE PRESIDENT: They wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, and we couldn’t do that. They were willing to denuke a large portion of the areas that we wanted, but we couldn’t give up all of the sanctions for that. So we continue to work, and we’ll see. But we had to walk away from that particular suggestion. We had to walk away from that.
RUSH: So Kim Jong-un didn’t get what he wanted. Donald Trump doesn’t leave there, the United States doesn’t leave there a failure. We’ve never been down the road this far with these people. But I’m telling you, you cannot… Even though he wasn’t there and even though he wasn’t even talked about, you cannot discount the presence and the desire of the ChiCom leader and the fact that we are currently involved in trade renegotiations. Trump was on with Hannity last night, and this is what Trump said then about why he walked away from the summit with the little pot-bellied dictator who likes Johnnie Walker Blue…
THE PRESIDENT: We’re working towards something, but we didn’t sign anything today. It didn’t quite work out. I would say that I wasn’t satisfied and perhaps he wasn’t satisfied. Good relationship, but I decided that this wasn’t the right time to sign something. So we’ll see what happens over a period of time. And the sanctions are there, and I didn’t want to give up the sanctions unless we had a real program. And they’re not ready for that, and I understand that fully. I really do. I mean, they spent a lot of time building it. That doesn’t mean the world has to be happy. But I wanted them to denuke.
RUSH: Right. So now, I’m telling you, the way to figure out where this is going next is to keep an eye on our relationship with the ChiComs. Let’s just monitor the ongoing trade talks. Let’s see if perhaps we implement some new sanctions on the ChiComs and the Norks. Let’s say we implement a revised set of sanctions on the Norks that affect what the ChiComs are providing and see what happens there. If we get these people in violation, of course, it strengthens your position. Kim Jong-un did something he’s never done before. He answered questions in an open forum from a media other than the North Korean state media. We only have a little five-second blip of this.
A reporter said, “Chairman Kim! Chairman Kim! Are you ready to denuclearize?”
KIM: (via translator): If I’m not willing to do that, I won’t be here right now.
RUSH: “If I’m not willing to do that, I won’t be here right now.” That was the translation. “If I’m not willing to do that, I won’t be here right now.” One more before we go to break — and this is classic. This is how the Drive-Bys haven’t the slightest idea. There’s nobody in the Drive-Bys who took even 30 minutes to look into this like I did, and I know that based on this question. Gayle King, CBS This Morning, was talking to General Vincent Brooks (Army retired), former commander, U.S. Forces Korea, about Trump’s summit with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un.
KING: Was it a diplomatic failure, and who was a winner and a loser here?
BROOKS: Well, I actually wouldn’t call it a diplomatic failure. It’s another step in diplomacy. The United States did not get the disclosure it wanted. I still don’t call that a failure, though. I think this is a clear indication of where we are and how many more steps there have to be. Remember, this is a country that doesn’t know anything about trust.
RUSH: Right. This is exactly right. This is just the next stage, the next step in this ongoing effort. Gayle King said, “Hey…” A light must have gone on in her head, because she said, “Is it a big setback for Kim Jong-un, though?”
KING: Is it a big setback for Kim, though?
BROOKS: It’s a big setback for Kim on the international stage. He has lost face. Often, you’re closer when you feel like you’re further apart. It sounds illogical, but it’s absolutely true. So Kim Jong-un now has a better understanding of what he didn’t get and what he really wants, which is economic development. It’s not that he wants his nuclear weapons. He wants economic development. And he now sees that he has to take a different way to get there. He gambled and missed.
KING: (laughs) You’re very optimistic on things.
BROOKS: Well, I am.
KING: I like it!
BROOKS: I can’t be completely disappointed by this.
RUSH: I will guarantee you that video that Trump showed this little guy at the first summit had an impact. “This could be yours, Little Man. This could be your country.” There’s no question he wants economic development, and I think there’s no question that he doesn’t like having to rely on the ChiComs for all of it. (interruption) “Well, then how was this a setback for Kim?”
Because he didn’t get anything!
Unless he wants to say, “Well, you know what? The American media, they humiliated President Trump. That’s a win for me.” That’s typically the way the left looks at things. People they hate get a tax increase, and they (clapping) celebrate that, even though it doesn’t change their lives at all. So if the media is really ragging on Trump for failing here, that’s not gonna make Kim Jong-un happy. He doesn’t live in that world. It’s not gonna do a damn thing for him, the media hating on Trump. He didn’t get anything he wanted. He didn’t get a thing — and, in fact, his obstacle to getting what he wanted was not even Trump.
It was the ChiComs.
RUSH: This is Ileana in Wantagh, New York. It’s great to have you. Hi.
CALLER: Good afternoon, Mr. Limbaugh. I am calling to respectfully and with respect, so much respect, to disagree with you regarding your idea about the tariffs and how you think it kind of backfired on what transpired in Vietnam with the summit. I happen to think that President Trump will be able to meet, when he meets with President Xi in Mar-a-Lago, be able to use his act of good faith in not raising the tariffs March 1st. I think that he’ll be able to use that act of good faith to put pressure on President Xi to go back and put pressure on Chairman Kim to make this thing happen. And it’s not gonna happen overnight, obviously. But I think that President Trump will put pressure on President Xi and then back to Chairman Kim.
RUSH: I need to — ’cause if I misspoke, I need to know. What do you think that I said that you are correcting here? Remember, I’m ravaged with the common cold virus with some fever here today so you gotta cut me some slack. What did I say that I didn’t get right?
CALLER: I believe that I heard you say something in regard to the fact that President Trump committing to not increasing the tariffs come March 1st was a way for President Xi to tell Chairman Kim, “Listen. Take it easy. Don’t commit to anything.”
RUSH: I think there’s no question about that. But I didn’t say — it’s not the end of anything.
RUSH: But there’s no question the ChiComs took advantage of that.
CALLER: Okay. All right. That’s interesting, your take it on it. I have a different take on it. But, okay.
RUSH: Well, I don’t think our takes are that much different. I’m not saying this is fatal. I’m just saying this is why this thing didn’t finish yesterday.
CALLER: All right. I’m listening.
RUSH: Well, that’s it. We didn’t get a deal yesterday because when Trump suspends the tariffs, temporary suspension that are supposed to happen tomorrow, the ChiComs decide to take advantage of that and try to portray it as a sign of weakness and tell Kim Jong-un not to sign anything, and so the whole reason for the summit bombs out. Trump was trying to show good faith. It doesn’t mean he can’t continue to use this. I didn’t mean to say — if you interpreted that I said it’s over forever and Trump blew it, in no way, shape, manner, or form did I say that.
RUSH: I do not think it was a fatal error. If I implied that or if you inferred that, then that’s not my point. And, by the way, the North Koreans are doing something they very rarely do. They’ve issued a statement claiming, hey, they offered all kinds of things that Trump turned down. They never do this. This is getting interesting to me now.