Three different international messes to comment on mean three separate appearances for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on this morning’s Sunday shows. Mess one: North Korea, which fired multiple “short-range projectiles” into the sea off its eastern coast on Friday night after months of quiet. The president reportedly did not react well.
Someone familiar w/ White House scene post North Korea missile briefing to me:
– “Trump is pissed off, like Kim fucked him over.”
– WH staff “urging him not to tweet anything, to talk to [ROK President] Moon first before he does anything.”
– ROK staff calling WH urging restraint
— Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox) May 4, 2019
POTUS was diplomatic in his first public comments about it on Saturday morning. We’ll see if Pompeo follows suit or if he’s tasked with playing bad cop to Trump’s good cop. Mess two: Venezuela, where Pompeo and John Bolton are reportedly hot for intervention and the president is … not.
Trump has become frustrated this week as national security adviser John Bolton and others openly teased military options and has told friends that if Bolton had his way he’d already be at war in multiple places…
The President’s skepticism was sparked after the military uprising that Guaido and some US officials were counting on failed to gain steam — leading him to ask to questions about the reliability of US intelligence that suggested senior members of Maduro’s inner circle were preparing to defect.
In meetings throughout the week, Trump has pressed aides on how reliable the information coming from Guaido and Venezuela was and whether it was being interpreted properly, according to people familiar with the conversations.
Sounds like the most sober voice in the Situation Room on Venezuela is Donald J. Trump’s. Mess three: Russia, where Trump’s endless quest for better relations with Putin has once again led him to contradict his own deputies. Pompeo spent the week blaming Russia for convincing Maduro not to flee Caracas and then reportedly had a “contentious” phone call with the Russia foreign minister, telling him that Russia’s meddling there was “destabilizing for Venezuela and for the U.S.-Russia bilateral relationship.” Bolton also spoke harshly about Russian actions, warning that “We are not going to see the Russians take over a country in the Western Hemisphere.” Then Trump got on the phone with Putin. Voila:
President Donald Trump said Friday after a phone call with Russian president Vladimir Putin that Putin has no desire to involve Russia in the spiraling political crisis in Venezuela.
“We talked about many things. Venezuela was one of the topics. And he is not looking at all to get involved in Venezuela other than he’d like to see something positive happen for Venezuela, and I feel the same way,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
If you can’t trust the word of Vladimir Putin, whose word can you trust? Pompeo will be on “This Week,” “Face the Nation,” and “Fox News Sunday” to try to answer that question.
If that doesn’t work for you, the 2020 Democratic clown car will also be emptying out onto your television set this morning. Amy Klobuchar and Cory Booker will be on “State of the Union,” Eric “Who?” Swalwell will sit down with “Face the Nation,” Michael “No, Really, Who?” Bennet will drop by “Meet the Press,” and Bernie Sanders will appear on “This Week” to explain how his polling turned to garbage in the course of a week. The full line-up is at the AP.