The source of the confusion was Trump’s reference to “today.” No sanctions had been announced Friday, leading analysts to assume the president was referring to a round of sanctions imposed Thursday by the Treasury Department.
In fact, Trump was referring to a future round of previously unknown sanctions scheduled for the coming days, said administration officials familiar with the matter. The officials declined to specify what those sanctions would entail…
“Usually a national security process exists to make policy decisions AND agree on rollout and messaging,” Alyssa Ayres, a former State Department official, said in a tweet.
Trump’s decision on the future sanctions is probably aimed at salvaging relations between the United States and North Korea following the failure of the two sides to come to an agreement during last month’s nuclear negotiations in Vietnam.