Erick Erickson: Obama would have been impeached for Kim summit
Conservative writer Erick Erickson on Tuesday blasted President Trump for his friendly exchange with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, declaring that Republicans would have likely called for impeachment if former President Obama had done the same.
In an op-ed on his website The Resurgent, Erickson said Obama similarly engaged with oppressive and abusive foreign governments, like those of Cuba and Iran.
Erickson slammed Trump’s actions in recent days — sparring with U.S. allies at the Group of Seven (G-7) summit in Canada before praising Kim in Singapore — as “offensive” and “unacceptable.”
“If Obama had done what Trump just did, Republicans would be demanding his impeachment,” Erickson wrote.
In the piece titled “If Obama Had Done This,” Erickson notes that Trump’s meeting elevates North Korea’s status in the world while Trump comes “home with just a participation trophy.”
“Having the American President abdicate his leadership of the G7 to flirt with a communist monster is unacceptable,” Erickson wrote. “Diplomacy to get rid of North Korea’s nukes would be great. But that’s not what happened.”
“Instead, we gave the North Koreans a considerable PR win in Asia, gave them credibility in South Korea, and came home with just a participation trophy.”
Erickson pointed to Obama’s deals with Cuba and Iran as similar to Trump’s meeting with Kim, saying that Obama should not have done it and Trump should not engage in similar tactics.
“Like with Obama, President Trump should not have engaged in a glad-handing, face time exercise with the North Korean leader where the communist monster gets a propaganda win of North Korean flags at equal display with the American flag,” Erickson wrote.
Trump ramped up a trade feud with key allies, including Canada and France, last week as he prepared to head to the G-7 summit, accusing some of Washington’s closest partners of taking advantage of the U.S. on trade.
He called on Friday for the G-7 to readmit Russia to the group, though that proposal was swiftly shot down by most members. Russia was suspended from the G-7 — previously known as the G-8 — in 2014 after Moscow annexed Crimea from Ukraine.
The tensions between Trump and other G-7 leaders were on full display on Friday and Saturday as leaders traded insults.
The White House announced that the president would leave the summit earlier than expected to head to Singapore ahead of his meeting with Kim and after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that all seven members of the group had agreed to sign a joint communique at the end of the summit.
Trump reversed course on that endorsement, blaming Trudeau for criticizing U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
“The whole design of this is offensive,” Erickson wrote of the G-7 tensions moving into the North Korean summit. “The President pees in the punch bowl of the G7, insists the Russians come back into the organization, then flies off to Singapore to make kissy face with a man who routinely murders his own people.”
As he met with Kim in Singapore on Tuesday, Trump showered praise on the North Korean leader, calling him “a very worthy, very smart negotiator” and saying that he planned to meet with him “many times.”
That meeting culminated in the signing of an agreement that commits the U.S. to unspecified “security guarantees” for the North in exchange for the eventual denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Trump also announced that he was suspending joint military drills with South Korea.