This is how one can tell that President Trump’s complaint that media coverage of the Michael Cohen hearing last week caused the failure of his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un: even Fox News disagrees with him.
Trump had tweeted this line of attack just as Republican lawmakers and apparatchiks were pressing the same talking point on various Sunday news shows:
For the Democrats to interview in open hearings a convicted liar & fraudster, at the same time as the very important Nuclear Summit with North Korea, is perhaps a new low in American politics and may have contributed to the “walk.” Never done when a president is overseas. Shame!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2019
I completely agree with Kevin McCarthy.
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) March 3, 2019
Fox’s Bret Baier pushed back on the president in a conversation with his fellow anchor, Harris Faulkner, Monday afternoon. Baier spent last week in Hanoi covering the Trump-Kim summit. Baier said that media at the summit was very focused on whether the two leaders were going to come up with a deal, and he called the idea that they failed because of anything Cohen said or did in Washington, D.C. “a stretch.”
He added, “Michael Cohen didn’t offer just Yongbyon nuclear facility. Michael Cohen didn’t say no to the big deal at the table between the president and Chairman Kim.” The implication was that the two sides were far from agreement on what concessions should comprise this “big deal” that Trump had made clear he wanted.
Baier made that point specifically later in the conversation, saying “I think the coverage of it was less, but the bottom line is that what came to the table and what they didn’t agree to was because the two countries didn’t get on the same page on the specifics. I think Kim Jong Un overestimated his ability to woo over Donald Trump.”
“I wouldn’t be surprised if another set of talks pops up, just listening to both sides, and this isn’t over,” he continued. “But this was not a success.”
Faulkner also noted that because of the time difference with Hanoi, most of America was actually asleep when Trump and Kim were in the heat of negotiations, which is one reason why the public didn’t pay close attention to the details. She also noted that Kim might not have wanted to make a deal because he thought it would look weak to his own government, which she seems to think is a rat’s nest of vicious killers always looking for an excuse to overthrow their leader. Which, given the iron fist with which Kim seems to rule, is harder to believe.
But as Faulkner and Baier seemed to agree, Kim did not walk away from the negotiating table because press coverage of the Cohen hearings made him think Trump is in a weakened position domestically. This is just Trump trying to find someone, anyone but himself to blame. Which is par for the course with Donald Trump.
Watch the video at the top of the post, via Fox News.