January 2, 2020

Trump believed he charmed Kim Jong Un into walking away from further development of nuclear weapons. Like any bad used car salesman, he actually believes his own lies. Now we're seeing just how little he accomplished. National security analyst David Sanger talked about the North Korean threat on CNN with John Berman and Poppy Harlow this morning.

"John, I think the core of it is that the president believed that the force of his personality, the personal relationship that he put together with Kim was going to do it. And that, combined with the economic lure of development in North Korea, would make this happen. You know, remember in Singapore and then at some later meetings, the president delivered these videos that showed hotels that they were going to build along the beaches, the east coast of North Korea," Sanger said.

"By the way, I've been on some of those beaches years ago. They were all mined. They may want to de-mine them before they get kids out on the beach there. But the truth of the matter is in the end, the president didn't get to the core issue, which is that Kim views the nuclear weapons as his great insurance policy."

"From the president it's been no 'fire and fury.' No 'little rocket man.' From Pompeo, Kim will make the right decision and choose peace and prosperity over war. Is that 'cross your fingers and hope'?" Harlow said.

"It's not a strategy. At this point, the president is so invested in this policy, Poppy, that I don't think there's a way he can really go back to fire and fury. Because it would be acknowledging that everything he's been putting together for the past 18 months has failed. And, you know, his base believes he disarmed North Korea," Sanger said.

"I think he believes it. He said -- this was from June 13th, 2018. 'There is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea,' " Berman said.

"That was just as he was leaving Singapore."

"And it wasn't true then, it's not true now."

"It's less true now than it was then. What he failed to get in Singapore was a freeze on any of their nuclear development. So we think that at the time of Singapore, Kim had 20, 25 weapons -- or at least the fuel for those nuclear weapons. The best guess now is 38 to 40," Sanger said.

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