With scandals closing in on President Donald Trump from all sides, reports suggest that the president is hoping a successful summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un next month in Singapore will give the administration a desperately needed win it can trumpet as the midterm election draws closer.
But will the summit even happen? This week, North Korea called off bilateral talks with South Korea because Kim was said to be furious over joint military exercises being conducted by the U.S. and its South Korean allies. North Korea also suggested the meeting with Trump might be in danger.
But to hear White House counselor Kellyanne Conway tell it, such gloomy predictions are based on speculation.
During an appearance on Fox & Friends Thursday morning, Conway refused to “confirm or deny” if the White House had been contacted by the North Koreans, and she then added:
“I will tell you this. So much is litigated in the media and it just gets repeated and retweeted without verification. You know, some people call it fake news. I refer to it as uninformed conjecture, speculation. And it’s dangerous because people think speculative opinion, wishful thinking, conclusions in search of evidence somehow rises to the level of facts.”
Fake news? Uninformed conjecture? Consider this statement from the North Korean Central News Agency on Tuesday:
“If the US is trying to drive us into a corner to force our unilateral nuclear abandonment, we will no longer be interested in such dialogue and cannot but reconsider our proceeding to the [North Korea]-US summit.”
Does that sound like Kim is eager to sit down and have a cordial chat with Trump?
While she was at it, Conway also took the opportunity to whine about leaks coming from the White House. She was prompted by co-host Brian Kilmeade, who commented:
“Some of the leaks are authorized. But it’s the unauthorized ones — as you said, to try to destroy somebody — those are the troublesome ones.”
That was all Conway needed to go off on a mini-rant:
“Right. The president wants me to make clear to all of you that a lot of this is made up. If you’re going to speculate and bloviate about North Korea and what may or may not be true there, you are certainly going to speculate about leaks.”
How exactly is a statement from a North Korean official “made up”? Just because this White House leaks like a sieve doesn’t automatically make the information being leaked bogus.
Here’s a fact that Conway and the president should be much more worried about: Happy staffers don’t leak to the press. The fact that so many leaks are coming from this administration suggests lots of officials who work for Trump are eager to help bring him down. That doesn’t bode well for the future of this president.
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