Donald Trump accused of handling North Korea ‘like he’s cutting a casino deal’

  • Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson warns Trump that foreign policy is not like making a casino deal with Steve Wynn
  • Criticism comes in wake of Trump’s use of nuclear rhetoric in North Korea crisis

A former chief of staff to United States Secretary of State Colin Powell has accused President Trump of conducting foreign policy as though he was in the casino business.

In an interview with MSNBC, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, who served in Vietnam and also worked as assistant to Powell when he was Ronald Regan’s National Security Adviser, said that Trump was acting like he was negotiating a deal with casino mogul Steve Wynn.

He blasted Trump’s ‘grandiose rhetoric’ and fumed: “We need to curb this President, who seems to think that he’s negotiating the Taj Mahal (Trump’s former casino in Atlantic City) or some other casino, with Steve Wynn!”

Wilkerson cited the rhetoric used by President Trump, who promised ‘fire and fury the like of which the world has never seen’ in response to reports that North Korea had successfully miniaturised a nuclear warhead, and suggested that the President needed to be reined in.

High stakes

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Speaking to MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, Col Wilkerson said that the country needed to get away from the grand rhetoric that President Trump had been using and criticised the President for his words, saying that this was not the way to conduct American foreign policy, and comparing the President’s approach to that of North Korea’s leader.

He said: “This is like Donald Trump looking in a mirror one morning and seeing Kim Jong-un.”

Wilkerson indicated that the high stakes rhetoric should be replaced by a determination to negotiate with the North Koreans, asserting that such an approach had been successful in defusing a similar crisis in 1994 during President Clinton’s term in office, and suggesting that the United States could offer to cancel this month’s military exercises in the region in exchange for North Korea halting or dismantling some aspects of its nuclear program.

He also dismissed suggestions that the North Korean leader was not a rational actor, asserting that Kim Jong-un was primarily interested in retaining power, and had no interest in provoking a real military intervention by the United States.

As the high stakes rhetoric from Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump escalates, it seems increasingly appropriate to use casino terminology of two high rollers duking it out at the poker table or multiplying their bets at the roulette wheel.

But with foreign policy, there’s a lot more than just money at stake.

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