Democratic strategist says Japan has become Trump's 'crutch' on diplomatic relations

Democratic strategist Roger Fisk said Tuesday that Japan has become a “crutch” for President TrumpDonald John TrumpLincoln Project ad dubs Jared Kushner the 'Secretary of Failure' Pence: Chief Justice Roberts 'has been a disappointment to conservatives' Twitter bans Trump campaign until it deletes tweet with COVID-19 misinformation MORE during periods of diplomatic unrest.

“I think [Prime Minister Shinzo] Abe is sort of becoming his Asian crutch in a lot ways,” Fisk, who served in the Obama administration, told Hill.TV on “Rising.”

“When things get difficult, he seems to go to that kind of safe place because they seem to have kind of a personal rapport,” he added.

Trump visited Japan over the weekend amid the escalating U.S. trade war with China. The president met with Abe and became the first foreign leader to meet with Japan’s new emperor.

Fisk said that despite the public display of unity, the meeting in Japan exposed a rift between Trump and Abe when it comes to North Korea's missile testing.

“It wasn’t particularly ambitions," he told Hill.TV. "It didn’t necessarily achieve anything except to demonstrate a breach between the president and the prime minister about their view of the North Korea situation."

During a news conference with the two leaders, Trump said he was not “personally” bothered by North Korea's missile testing, adding that he was in “no rush” to make a nuclear deal. He also praised North Korean leader Kim Jong UnKim Jong UnHiroshima, Nagasaki, and the new nuclear danger Kim: North Korea's nuclear weapons will prevent war The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Rep. Angie Craig says we need an equitable distribution plan for an eventual vaccine that reaches all communities; Moderna vaccine enters phase 3 trial in US today MORE as a “very smart man.”

Abe took a different tack, telling reporters that Japan feels threatened by the testing due to its proximity to North Korea, and noted that the tests are in violation of a United Nations Security Council resolution.

“It is of great regret,” Abe said. “But at the same time, between Kim Jong Un and President Trump a certain new approach was taken and that is something that I pay tribute to.”

—Tess Bonn