President Donald Trump never fails to surprise with his actions and words.
At a recent meeting, when he was discussing the fate of a 5-year-old free trade deal between the U.S. and South Korea, the president reportedly told his negotiator to portray him “crazy,” in a bid to get more out of the deal.
During the meeting, which was held at the Oval Office, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer reportedly received a coaching lesson on how to negotiate the deal with South Korea.
As the group started discussing whether to pull out of the deal or not, Trump began giving instructions. According to sources, this is how the conversation started.
“You've got 30 days, and if you don't get concessions then I'm pulling out,” Trump told Lighthizer.
“OK, well I'll tell the Koreans they've got 30 days,” replied Lighthizer.
“No, no, no. That's not how you negotiate. You don't tell them they've got 30 days. You tell them, ‘This guy's so crazy he could pull out any minute,’” said Trump.
“That's what you tell them: Any minute. And by the way, I might. You guys all need to know I might. You don't tell them 30 days. If they take 30 days they'll stretch this out,” he continued.
Apparently, the president is going by a new tactic now, the “madman” image that he is willing to foster with world leaders — especially in the case of North Korea.
During his debut at the United Nations General Assembly, Trump took the moment as an opportunity and once again targeted North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong-un.
As the U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is on a trip to China, Trump told him not to waste his time trying to negotiate with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
“I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man,” Trump wrote on Twitter, using his sarcastic nickname for Kim.
He later tweeted that his White House predecessors Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama had all “failed” on North Korea by “being nice to Rocket Man,” so “why would it work now?”
In another incident, during his debut at the United Nations General Assembly, Trump took the moment as an opportunity and once again targeted North Korea’s supreme leader.
“The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and his regime,” Trump said.
Whether this tactic of Trump will help him or not is yet to be seen.
Spotlight, Banner: Reuters, Chris Kean