August 7, 2020

As hardened as I am to the Trump circus, this interview with Jim Sciutto is really a jaw dropper.

While tensions escalated with both North Korea and Iran, Trump advisers wouldn't give him military options because they were afraid he might accidentally take the US to war. They told their counterparts in both countries that they did not know what the President would do next, multiple former administration officials told CNN reporter Jim Sciutto, who wrote about it in his new book, "The Madman Theory: Trump Takes on the World." Via CNN:

Trump's relationship with Kim Jong Un has blown hot and cold throughout his presidency but in 2017 as the President dubbed Kim "little rocket man" and the North Korean dictator responded by calling Trump a "dotard," there was a very real fear amongst senior members of the administration that the war of words might culminate in the President launching military action against Pyongyang.

"We used to only think of Kim Jong Un as unpredictable. Now we had Trump as unpredictable," Joseph Yun, who served as President Trump's special representative for North Korea policy until 2018, told me. "And I would communicate that."

Yun recalled that during the worsening standoff with North Korea in 2017, the Pentagon hesitated to give the President a broad range of military options, concerned that he might indeed order a major military attack on the North. "You had to be careful what options you gave him," he said. "We were being very cautious, because any options you put out there, he could use them."

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