John Oliver: Trump’s photo op with envoy a ‘propaganda coup’ for North Korea
Late-night host John Oliver on Sunday ripped President Trump for the photo op he conducted with a North Korean envoy during a meeting last week, calling it a “propaganda coup” for Pyongyang.
Oliver was referencing Trump’s meeting with North Korean envoy Kim Yong Chol at the White House last Friday, where Trump was handed a personal letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Trump announced after the meeting that his summit with Kim would take place as previously scheduled — about a week after Trump had abruptly canceled it.
“This week, the June 12 summit between the U.S. and North Korea was suddenly back on after Trump met with a North Korean envoy who’d brought him this gigantic, comically-oversized letter from Kim Jong Un,” Oliver said on “Last Week Tonight.”
“And as if smiling while holding a letter from a dictator were not enough of a propaganda coup for North Korea, the president then raved about the letter to the press,” Oliver said.
Talking to reporters after the meeting on Friday, Trump praised the contents of the letter and called it “very interesting.” But later, Trump acknowledged that he hadn’t read the letter, which Oliver used to conclude that Trump agreed to a summit without reading a letter that convinced him to do it.
“As infuriating a president as Trump is, he would be an even worse Moses,” Oliver said. “‘Oh, wouldn’t you like to see what’s on these tablets? How much? How much? Maybe I’ll show you later, if you’re lucky,’” he joked of the cliffhanger-type tease to the press.
“You just agreed to a summit without reading the contents of the letter that supposedly convinced you to do it. So, worse-case scenario, it’s a declaration of war; best-case scenario, it reads, ‘Donald, It’s me. I have run away to North Korea and I’m never coming back. Melania.’”
Oliver has frequently criticized Trump throughout his presidency, and in May said that White House national security adviser John Bolton could be the next Anthony Scaramucci, Trump’s White House communications director that lasted just 10 days in his job.
Bolton previously said the U.S. would use the “Libya model” in its deliberations with North Korea, a declaration that endangered proposed talks with Kim.
Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi was forced from power by NATO-backed forces eight years after striking a deal to give up his nuclear weapons.
“Look, John Bolton. How can I put this to you, what you did, in terms you might understand? Your decision to say the words the ‘Libya model’ may have put your time in the White House on the path of the ‘Scaramucci model,'” Oliver said on his show.
“A model which means you shoot your mouth off, get fired quickly and end up posing for photos in front of a frozen yogurt shop with which you share a dumb nickname.”