There was a tense moment during the 2016 Republican primary debates when former Florida governor Jeb Bush challenged Donald Trump for saying he would be “honored” to meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un for disarmament talks.
“I can’t tell you how big a mistake I think that is, to have bilateral talks with North Korea. It’s precisely what Kim . . . wants,” Bush lectured. “It will mean that China no longer is involved in convincing, along with us, for Kim
. . . to get rid of his weapons. It’s a big mistake to do that.”
Trump was scornful in rebuttal, seeming to confuse Jeb Bush with his brother, the former president: “Just because he says it can’t be done, that you’d lose China, doesn’t mean it can’t be done. I mean, this is the man who said ‘There were weapons of mass destruction,’ ‘mission accomplished,’ said we could fight the war on the cheap — none of which were true. We could have bilateral talks with Kim . . . And we can get those weapons at the same time as we get China.”
By Charles Lane