Schiff questions if North Korea tried to 'flatter' Trump

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffThe Hill's Morning Report - Is US weighing military action against Iran? The Hill's Morning Report - Is US weighing military action against Iran? Schiff: Intelligence agencies focused on Russian interference 'even if the president isn't' MORE (D-Calif.) questioned on Saturday if North Korea had tried to influence President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says 'Failing New York Times' should be held 'fully accountable' over Russia report Trump says 'Failing New York Times' should be held 'fully accountable' over Russia report Trump tweets ICE will begin removing 'millions' of undocumented migrants MORE by flattering him ahead of a second summit set for later this month.

"All countries do psychological profiles of other foreign leaders to determine how they can be manipulated. North Korea may have determined that if they flatter Trump, they can achieve normalization of relations and easing of sanctions without denuclearization," Schiff tweeted Saturday. "That’s dangerous."

Schiff was responding to a tweet from Trump late Friday in which the president said North Korea could see immense economic benefits under North Korean leader Kim Jong Un if a denuclearization agreement is reached between Washington and Pyongyang.

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“North Korea, under the leadership of Kim Jong Un, will become a great Economic Powerhouse. He may surprise some but he won’t surprise me, because I have gotten to know him & fully understand how capable he is. North Korea will become a different kind of Rocket - an Economic one!” Trump tweeted Friday evening. 

Trump has previously emphasized possible economic benefits that could North Korea could see if the two countries reach an agreement on denuclearization. Such a deal would likely include lifting stringent U.S. sanctions on the country.

Trump and Kim are set to meet in Hanoi at the end of the month to continue negotiating denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. The two leaders first met in June 2018 at a summit in Singapore that Trump later declared a success.

 

Kim has not taken any verifiable steps toward reducing or dismantling North Korea's nuclear arsenal. U.S. intelligence officials, including Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsHillicon Valley: Tim Cook visits White House | House hearing grapples with deepfake threat | Bill, Melinda Gates launch lobbying group | Tech turns to K-Street in antitrust fight | Lawsuit poses major threat to T-Mobile, Sprint merger Hillicon Valley: Tim Cook visits White House | House hearing grapples with deepfake threat | Bill, Melinda Gates launch lobbying group | Tech turns to K-Street in antitrust fight | Lawsuit poses major threat to T-Mobile, Sprint merger House Intel to take first major deep dive into threat of 'deepfakes' MORE and CIA Director Gina Haspel testified in a congressional hearing last week that North Korea is unlikely to completely forfeit its nuclear weapons.