President Donald Trump attends a breakfast with G7 leaders and members of the Gender Equality Advisory Council in Quebec City. Michael Kappeler/AP
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Shortly before bailing out early on the Group of 7 nations meetings held outside of Quebec City this weekend, President Trump made some curious remarks about his upcoming face-to-face meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un: He says he will know within one minute of meeting Kim Jong-un whether he is serious about getting rid of his nuclear weapons. Reports the New York Times:
“Just my touch, my feel. That’s what I do,” Mr. Trump said. “You know, the way they say you know if you’re going to like somebody in the first five seconds. Did you ever hear that one? Well, I think that very quickly I’ll know whether or not something good is going to happen.”
It was a wide-ranging news conference that Trump also used to lambast what he called “ridiculous and unacceptable” tariffs on American goods around the world, threatening to end all trade with his G7 counterparts if they didn’t right what he considers unfair trade practices. “We’re like the piggy bank that everybody’s robbing—and that ends,” he vowed. He once again characterized the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada as one of the worst trade deals the United States has ever agreed to.
“Crimea was let go during the Obama administration, and you know, Obama can say all he wants, but he allowed Russia to take Crimea,” said President Trump.When asked about his calls for Russia to be reinstated to the Group of 7 nations, which had been expelled after it invaded Crimea in 2014, President Trump blamed former President Barrack Obama for Russia’s annexation of Crimea, saying, “Crimea was let go during the Obama administration, and you know, Obama can say all he wants, but he allowed Russia to take Crimea. I may have had a much different attitude, but, so, you really have to ask that question to President Obama. You know, why did he do that?”
President Trump’s remarks were so free-wheeling that the panel on MSNBC’s AM Joy wondered about his “state of mind.” CNBC’s John Harwood said, “He did not look well to me in that press conference. He was not speaking logically or rationally…There was something about his affect which was oddly kind of languid from him. I don’t know what it means, but he did not look well to me.”
Mother Jones DC bureau chief David Corn made a similar comment, saying, “If you were talking to me this morning the way we just heard Donald Trump talk, I would ask you if you’d taken any medication, advise you not to operate any heavy machinery.”
President Trump will be meeting with Kim Jong-un in Singapore on Tuesday, where he said on Saturday he expects to “at least start a dialogue” with the North Korean leader.