While Fox host Jeanine Pirro pretended that Donald Trump has not sucked up to dictators such as Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin, guest Morgan Ortagus suggested that our real enemy in Asia is our long-time ally, South Korea.
August 26, 2018

While Fox host Jeanine Pirro pretended that Donald Trump has not sucked up to dictators such as Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin, guest Morgan Ortagus suggested that our real enemy in Asia is our long-time ally, South Korea.

Pirro, subbing for Sean Hannity, opened the discussion with the jaw-dropping falsehood, “The left has a track record of bowing to dictators but President Trump maintains a ‘peace through strength’ policy.”

It’s hard to know whether, just as when she co-signed the fraudulent tax returns that sent her allegedly mob-tied then-husband (who was also kept on retainer by Donald Trump) to jail, Pirro was shockingly ignorant or duplicitous. But in this case, it doesn’t matter. Some producer clearly approved of, if not scripted, this opening lie.

The supposed proof of Trump’s strength was a series of tweets indicating that he had canceled Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s trip to North Korea because “I feel we are not making sufficient progress with respect to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” Another tweet blamed China: “...Additionally, because of our much tougher Trading [sic] stance with China, I do not believe they are helping with the process of denuclearization as they once were (despite the UN Sanctions which are in place)...”

In other words, Trump’s tweets tacitly acknowledged his charm offensive to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un failed. Think Progress explains what Pirro either would not or could not: After a high-profile meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un in Singapore earlier this summer, Kim and Trump signed a denuclearization agreement and Trump declared victory — claiming North Korea no longer posed a nuclear threat thanks to his skilled deal-making. However, the agreement was far more flash than substance. As ThinkProgress’ D. Parvaz wrote at the time, “There was no mention of sanctions, long-range missiles, a peace treaty, or a time frame in what the president called a ‘pretty comprehensive’ agreement that is less than one and a half pages long.” Given the lack of actual commitments in the Singapore signing, it was little surprise when North Korea failed to eliminate its nuclear weapons.

Despite the lack of substantive progress, Trump immediately canceled military exercises with South Korea based on his instincts, as The Guardian noted. “’We got to know each other well in a very confined period of time,’ Trump told reporters. ‘I know when somebody wants to deal and I know when somebody doesn’t,’” The Guardian also reported.

Furthermore, Trump even made a point of toadying to Kim in the same series of tweets Pirro read on the air: “In the meantime I would like to send my warmest regards and respect to Chairman Kim. I look forward to seeing him soon!”

Not surprisingly, neither of Pirro’s two guests noted Trump’s obsequiousness. Guest Morgan Ortagus, identified only as a “national affairs and global security analyst,” very deftly avoided analyzing Trump’s “strength” with North Korea and pivoted to the “hardball” he’s playing with China “more than any other president has.”

ORTAGUS: It seems that the president got fed up and is frustrated with what he sees as a lack of progress on these talks. And the president we saw did this in the line up to the Singapore talks where he cancelled the meeting with Kim Jong-un and then the North Koreans came back to the table in a way that is efficient from the president's perspective and the meeting went forward.

So, I think we're really seeing here is so many different geopolitical things at play, Judge Jeanine. We are seeing trade talks happen with the Chinese, which I think are very tough and it did not seem to make a lot of progress over the past few days. The Chinese are playing hardball, but so is this president more than any other president has.

Then Ortagus pivoted to suggesting that our real enemies on the Korean peninsula are the South Koreans, our allies for 67 years who have served with us in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. Last fall, Trump characterized them as appeasers for wanting to hold talks with North Korea. That, of course, was before Trump decided he wanted to talk to North Korea.

ORTAGUS: We’re also seeing something - a very strange dynamic that I think that we need to be aware of and that’s the South Koreans. And [South Korean] President Moon is the – for lack of a better word, he’s the Barack Obama of Asia and I think that we have to be very careful about what the South Koreans are doing. They made some speeches last week in which they're trying to build this inter- Korean peninsula. Almost similar to a European Union of Asia.

They want to land bridge to China and to the rest of Asia. So, I'm worried that the South Korean president and his very liberal stance is trying to push a position that is counter to U.S. interests in the region.

And if that isn’t enough gaslighting for you, let’s not forget Trump’s shockingly deferential behavior toward Vladimir Putin in Helsinki which can only be described as a big bow to a dictator.

This discussion was nothing less than an attempt to brainwash viewers into a false reality and it’s simply inexcusable.

Watch the gaslighting above, from the August 24, 2018 Hannity.

Crossposted at News Hounds.
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