The Corner

Politics & Policy

About Last Night

President Trump is interviewed by Fox News’ Bret Baier on Air Force One, June 13, 2018. (YouTube screengrab via Fox News)

There were a lot of interesting things in Bret Baier’s Air Force One interview with Donald Trump.

Of particular interest: In the interview, President Trump flatly contradicted what he would go on to tweet not too long after the interview. Yesterday morning, the president tweeted that “There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea” and that everyone could now sleep soundly. But the evening before, the president told Baier that the deal is not yet a success.

BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS: There was one part of the news conference that I think you were kind of joking, that six months from now you could say this was a mistake . . .

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Oh sure. No —

BAIER: . . . and I am never going to tell you that.

TRUMP: It’s not joking. It could happen. I mean all of a sudden . . .

BAIER: But you don’t believe that?

TRUMP: It’s deals. Whether it’s this, which is so important, or buying a building, or doing whatever you may be doing. No, I don’t think that’s going to happen but I said I only consider it successful if it gets done. I think we have done something very historic already in one way. But to me a success is when it gets done.

Bret couldn’t have known that Trump would go on to do some “Mission Accomplished” tweeting. But it would have been great if he could have asked the president which version of events was true.

The interview continued to discuss how a verification system still needed to be worked out. Which brings me to the second interesting tidbit, which is admittedly of less significance:

BAIER: And so verification — you are confident you can set up the system.

TRUMP: Yeah, I am totally confident. And if we can’t, we can’t have a deal. We have to be, you know, it has to be verified. But one other things that really I am happy, is that the soldiers that died in Korea, their remains are gonna be coming back home. And we have thousands of people that have asked for that. Thousands and thousands of people. So many people asked when I was on the campaign and I’d say wait a minute I don’t have any relationship but they said when you can president we’d love our son to be brought back home. You know, the remains. And I asked — we had pretty much finished and I said would you do me a favor? The remains of these great fallen heroes could we do something. He agreed to it immediately. It was pretty great.

The Korean War ended 65 years ago next month. If there are still parents of Korean War combatants out there waiting for their son’s remains, by all means, let’s do everything we can to get them back.

Jonah Goldberg, a senior editor of National Review and the author of Suicide of the West, holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute.

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