Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Monday hit President Donald Trump over his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Sunday, calling it “one of the worst few days in American foreign policy.”
Trump’s visit with Kim was a moment that marked the first time a sitting US president has set foot in North Korea but it produced only an agreement between the two nations to restart talks about North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. Schumer took issue with how little Trump received for a visit that he viewed as a concession.
“He admires these strongmen,” Schumer told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on “Anderson Cooper 360” Tuesday. “He doesn’t have principles about what rule of law is, what a democracy is. You know, Anderson, this was one of the worst few days in American foreign policy, in American diplomatic history, in a long time.”
Schumer called the meeting an extension of Trump’s “erratic” foreign policy, which “hurts us in the long run.”
“Praising dictators, messing up foreign policy left and right, what he did in North Korea giving Kim Jong Un what he wanted, calling him a friend, patting him on the back, and getting nothing, absolutely nothing in return,” he said.
Trump’s meeting with Kim marked the third time the two leaders have met. This time, they spoke for just under an hour inside the Freedom House at the Demilitarized Zone following a handshake at the North Korean southern border.
“Would you like me to step across?” Trump asked Kim as they shook hands. “I am OK with it.”
Trump and Kim shook hands and patted each other’s backs while inside North Korean territory before they returned across the border to the South.
Trump later said he was “proud to step over the line” while thanking Kim for the meeting. “I never expected to meet you at this place,” Kim told Trump through an interpreter.
While Trump touted the meeting as a success, The New York Times reported Sunday that administration officials were mulling a plan that would accept North Korea as a nuclear power – a sharp departure from Trump’s promise to stop North Korea’s nuclear proliferation – if the country froze its nuclear program in exchange for the US lifting the “most onerous” sanctions.
“It’s reality show foreign policy,” Schumer added Monday. “He wants the photo op, he wants that little hit. He has no strategy, long-range sense of where to go, what to do. If anyone thinks this doesn’t hurt America in the short term, in the long run, they are sadly mistaken.”