Top national security adviser under Obama: ‘No way’ Trump is ready for negotiations with Kim by May

A former national security adviser under President Obama said there's "no way" President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse expected to vote on omnibus Thursday afternoon House passes 'right to try' drug bill Spending bill rejects Trump’s proposed EPA cut MORE is ready for a one-on-one meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by May, a date South Korea announced in a press conference Thursday. 

"There is no way that President Trump can be ready, by May, to have a high stakes negotiation on denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, it's just impossible," said Samantha Vinograd, a former senior adviser on the National Security Council under Obama. 

South Korea's national security adviser announced at the White House on Thursday that Trump accepted Kim Jong Un's offer for a summit, and would meet the reclusive leader by May "to achieve permanent denuclearization."

Vinograd told CNN's Erin Burnett that while the situation feels different than past negotiations, "that doesn't mean we should rush into a nuclear summit." 


Obama, Vinograd said, would spend months preparing with a team of advisers before any kind of meeting with a foreign head of state. A meeting held by Trump, a political novice, on such short notice is likely due to desperation, she said. 

She also added that Trump only agreed to the meeting "perhaps because he wants a PR opportunity, perhaps because he's desperate to do a deal."

The president, who has long been critical of Obama's tactic of "strategic patience" with the aggressive nuclear power, agreed to the deal after Kim informed South Korean delegates sent to the Winter Olympics that he would be open to meeting Trump.  

"And guess what? you can't wing it. Kim Jong Un is going to be fully prepared. I think that he's playing to the president's ego and the president's weaknesses by flattering him," Vinograd stated.