President Trump and the psycho formerly known as Little Rocket Man have concluded their summit conference in Singapore. Their time together included a working lunch resulting in a signed an anorexically skinny agreement with a provision committing North Korea to “complete denuclearization” (text here). President Trump followed up with a press conference (text here). My daughter Eliana followed the proceedings as the pool reporter on the scene. Eliana’s account for Politico (with Nahal Toosi and Nancy Cook) is here.
In the trade, reporters mark the gaps in a story in process with the initials TK (to come). The substantive details of the agreement are entirely TK.
Listening to President Trump pay tribute to the psycho formerly known as Little Rocket Man, I thought back to William F. Buckley’s disgust over President Nixon’s toast to the Great Helmsman of Mass Murder on Nixon’s historic trip to China in 1972. Looking around online, I see that National Review has posted Buckley’s contemporaneous comments here. Consider this strain of Buckley’s eloquent condemnation:
We have lost — irretrievably — any remaining sense. of moral mission in the world. Mr. Nixon’s appetite for a summit conference in Peking transformed the affair from a meeting of diplomatic technicians concerned to examine and illuminate areas of common interest, into a pageant of moral togetherness at which Mr. Nixon managed to give the impression that he was consorting with Marian Anderson, Billy Graham, and Albert Schweitzer.
In retrospect, I think Buckley was wrong and Nixon right in his diplomacy. Buckley’s over the top despair provides useful context to the tributes to Kim with which President Trump festooned his remarks during the summit. In this case, our judgment of Trump’s diplomacy is necessarily TK.
UPDATE: Politico has now posted Eliana’s report on the atmospherics here.