President Trump tweeted late Sunday night that the decision to have his former attorney Michael Cohen testify Wednesday in front of the House Oversight Committee may have contributed to the “walk” that came at his second nuclear summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Trump at first blamed North Korea for demanding too much in sanction relief that would only come with total denuclearization. Trump maintained last week simply that he “had to walk away” from the table. Trump was asked about the Cohen hearing on Thursday while in Hanoi and said “having it [the hearing] in the middle of this very important summit is really a terrible thing.”
But the president must have still been processing the reason for the premature ending of the summit on Sunday night. He tweeted: “For the Democrats to interview in open hearings a convicted liar & fraudster, at the same time as the very important Nuclear Summit with north Korea, is perhaps a new low in American politics and may have contributed to the “walk.” Never done when a president is overseas. Shame!”
Cohen pleaded guilty last year to lying to Congress about the Moscow real estate project and reports to prison in May for a three-year sentence. He gave harsh testimony about Trump on several fronts Wednesday. Cohen said Trump knew in advance that damaging emails about Democrat Hillary Clinton would be released during the 2016 campaign, a claim the president has denied. He also accused Trump of lying during the 2016 campaign about the Moscow deal.
Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho commented on the talks during an abruptly scheduled middle-of-the-night news conference after Trump was flying back the the U.S.
Ri said the North was also ready to offer in writing a permanent halt of the country’s nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests and Washington had wasted an opportunity that “may not come again.”
North Korean state news agency KNCA’s report Friday offered a more positive take on the meeting, saying both leaders walked away with a deeper commitment to forging ties between the two historically hostile nations.
The report said Kim was appreciative that Trump had made “active efforts towards results” and that he regarded the summit talks as “productive,” Reuters reported.