CNN’s Stelter to David Frum: Is it ‘Appropriate’ to be ‘So Critical of Trump’ Ahead of North Korea Summit?

CNN’s Brian Stelter asked Atlantic senior editor David Frum if it’s “appropriate” to be so critical of President Donald Trump ahead of his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Frum on Sunday penned a brutal piece for the Atlantic which took Trump to task for his combative attitude towards allies at the G7 summit, which the president upended abruptly on Saturday. The former George W. Bush speechwriter wrote:
Trump is locked into a cycle in his top-level diplomacy: bully-cringe-bully-cringe. He bullies traditional friends and allies; he cringes to adversaries, dictators, and potential funding sources for Trump enterprises. Bullying the G7 was the weekend’s story; cringing to North Korea—and behind it, China—will be the story of the week ahead.

“You wrote a very bruising piece earlier today for The Atlantic about what happened at the G-7 meeting,” Stelter said on Reliable Sources Sunday. “What I’m wondering David is, whether thought about keeping your powder dry at this moment in time when Trump is heading into this key meeting with the North Korean dictator.” “Is it appropriate right now to be so aggressive, to be so critical of Trump ahead of this summit?” Stelter asked. “I don’t even understand that question,” Frum replied. “I had a chance to get inside the meeting a little bit and to tell people what had happened.” Frum argued Trump’s defenders want to suggest that if the North Korea summit doesn’t go as planned, it’s the fault of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “People need to understand the difference between actual success that secures the security of the world and the peace of the world, and what Trump is going to pass off, which is actually a series of concessions from the North Koreans that will make the United States less safe,” Frum said. Stelter noted that “American journalists still have a sense of patriotism” and that pundits on cable news have said they “are all rooting for this to go well.” “There’s a difference between rooting for it to go well, and saying it’s gone well when it hasn’t gone well,” author Steven Brill said. “That’s true,” Stelter agreed. “That’s like saying let’s root for victory in Vietnam as opposed to reporting that, we’re winning, we’re winning, we’re winning in Vietnam when we’re not,” Brill added. “That’s hardly patriotic.” [image via screengrab] — Follow Aidan McLaughlin (@aidnmclaughlin) on Twitter

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