Menendez on NoKo Summit: I Worry Trump Is 'Dumbing Down Diplomacy' for 'Made-for-TV Moments'
Ahead of President Trump's planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Sen. Bob Menendez said he's concerned that Trump is putting "made-for-TV moments" before serious diplomacy.
Menendez (D-N.J.) made the comment on CNN's "The Situation Room" Monday, saying that he is skeptical that the second meeting between the leaders will result in legitimate efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.
“At the end of the day, we don’t need a made-for-TV moment. We need a verifiable, enforceable denuclearization, which means the elimination of all of North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, the infrastructure that supports those weapons and ballistic missiles, and a verifiable regime in order to achieve that's the case," Menendez said.
He said that Trump walked away from the first summit without even a definition of "denuclearization," so the president doesn't have that jumping off point going into the second summit.
“I worry that the president wants his made-for-TV moments. I worry that he’s dumbing down diplomacy at the end of the day. And I am worried that for the sake of declaring a victory, he will give too much," Menendez said.
On "Fox & Friends First" Tuesday, Fox News chief national correspondent Ed Henry said Menendez and other Democratic lawmakers who are skeptical ahead of the meeting raise a valid point that the first Trump-Kim summit was about photo ops and "breaking the ice" between two countries that had no diplomatic relations.
"The Democrats raise a fair point at least that here in Hanoi there has to substantive steps toward denuclearization," Henry said. "You can't just do photo ops this time."
He added, however, that Trump has been driving a hard bargain in trying to get Kim to denuclearize.
"It seems like Democrats and the media should give peace a chance, frankly, because the summit hasn't even started and they seem to be pooh-poohing it."
Watch the "Fox & Friends First" report above.