Is there any shot at the Trump administration too lame for the New York Times to eschew? After reading this report from Brian Flood at Fox News, I’m starting to doubt there is.
On Tuesday, the Times breathlessly reported that Secretary of State Pompeo was absent from Washington when Trump announced he was pulling the U.S. out of the nuclear deal with Iran. “At a Key Moment, Trump’s Top Diplomat Is Again Thousands of Miles Away,” the headline harumphed.
The Times reported that “senior State Department officials were momentarily speechless on Tuesday when asked why Mr. Pompeo did not delay his trip by a day to be in Washington during Mr. Trump’s Iran deal announcement.” According to the Times, European diplomats complained privately that they were “having trouble getting answers from Washington.”
But the Times knew that Pompeo was heading to North Korea make sure that three Americans who had been jailed by the dictatorship would be coming home. It reported as much in this same story. And ultimately, Pompeo not only returned with the three prisoners, but also worked on arranging a date and location for Trump’s meeting with Kim Jong Un.
Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran deal, a move much discussed with foreign leaders in advance, pretty much speaks for itself. European leaders must figure out the extent to which they will join the U.S. in tightening the economic noose around Iran’s neck, and this will be the subject of discussions with the administration.
But these discussions didn’t need to to occur immediately. And even if they did, Pompeo could be reached while on his trip to North Korea.
The Times says calls are sometimes dropped on Pompeo’s plane. This minor problem may irritate European diplomats, but should not deter Pompeo from leaving Washington on important diplomatic business He serves the U.S., not Europe.
Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran deal is not the end of the world. Life goes on and there are pressing matters that require attention. Pompeo was right to make it his priority to bring home the three prisoners and advance negotiations with North Korea, rather than sitting around in Washington just in case some European called.
We all understand that the New York Times is a cog in the anti-Trump resistance. But surely this hit piece is a case of “resistio ad absurdum.”