Thursday morning, once he was done weighing in on the Vanity Fair fiasco and taking credit (again) for the Obama economy, Donald Trump decided it was time to sound a little more presidential in one of his tweets. I mean, not really — any tweet without some caps-lock and ridiculous garbage is clearly not written by him — but more like he knows what’s going on in the world.
Unfortunately, he’s succumbing to exactly what he constantly accuses the media of: Running with a story before knowing all the facts.
Caught RED HANDED – very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea. There will never be a friendly solution to the North Korea problem if this continues to happen!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 28, 2017
Earlier this week, a South Korean newspaper reported that their government believed Chinese ships were linking up with North Korean ships at sea in order to transfer energy to the isolated kingdom. Doing so would be a violation of newly-imposed UN sanctions drafted in response to North Korea’s ICBM test at the end of November. But China denies that any such transfers have taken place.
Trump’s immediate seizure of the news as fact is in contradiction to the very positive attitude he came home from his tour of Asia with. At the time, he tweeted nothing but love for China:
My meetings with President Xi Jinping were very productive on both trade and the subject of North Korea. He is a highly respected and powerful representative of his people. It was great being with him and Madame Peng Liyuan!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 9, 2017
President Xi of China has stated that he is upping the sanctions against #NoKo. Said he wants them to denuclearize. Progress is being made.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 11, 2017
Just spoke to President XI JINPING of China concerning the provocative actions of North Korea. Additional major sanctions will be imposed on North Korea today. This situation will be handled!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2017
Whether the South Korean reports are real or not, it looks bad for Donald Trump. If the news about the ships linking up is true, Trump clearly didn’t secure the “deals” he thought he did with Chinese president Xi Jinping. If they’re false, he’s tweeting “fake news” that’s likely to put us on the bad side of literally the only other superpower left in the world.
Even more astute observers pointed out that Russia — the source of all of Trump’s consternation lately — is known to trade with North Korea in violation of UN sanctions regularly.
I wonder why Donald Trump doesn’t call them out…
Featured image via Thomas Peter/Pool/Getty Images