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Schiff questions if North Korea tried to 'flatter' Trump

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffBarr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Trump pardons Flynn | Lawmakers lash out at decision | Pentagon nixes Thanksgiving dining hall meals due to COVID-19 Democratic impeachment leaders blast Trump's pardon of Flynn MORE (D-Calif.) questioned on Saturday if North Korea had tried to influence President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden: Trump attending inauguration is 'of consequence' to the country Biden says family will avoid business conflicts 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 CoatsNew federal cybersecurity lead says 'rumor control' site will remain up through January Biden soars as leader of the free world Lobbying world MORE and CIA Director Gina Haspel testified in a congressional hearing last week that North Korea is unlikely to completely forfeit its nuclear weapons.