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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

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Trump tried to escape his porn star scandal by announcing impending direct talks with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. Instead, he simply created a bigger mess.

After a year of unhinged threats, Trump’s posture on North Korea has swung wildly in the other direction. But meeting directly with Kim, something no other president has offered, would be disastrous for the woefully unprepared Trump.

And the picture of a naive and unprepared adversary was quickly confirmed by a flurry of contradictions from the White House.

The situation grew more troubling Sunday morning when deputy White House press secretary Raj Shah expressed openness to an unthinkable concession.

ABC News’ “This Week” host Jon Karl asked Shah if a meeting between Trump and Kim could take place in the United States.

“Would President Trump be open to actually having Kim Jong-un at the White House?” Karl asked.

“I have no announcement,” Shah replied. “It’s at a time and a place to be determined.”

“But he wouldn’t rule that out?” Karl asked.

“No, nothing’s being ruled out,” Shah insisted. But he then seemed to all but rule out a meeting in Pyongyang, calling it “highly unlikely.”

The contrast between Shah’s reaction to a White House meeting and one in North Korea was striking. And it did nothing to counter the sense that the administration hasn’t thought through its plan to break with decades of presidential diplomacy.

Trump’s bumbling stab at diplomacy may seem like a preferable alternative to the year of terrifying provocations.

But not when one considers how he might react to the likely humiliation that will result from it. And what that could mean for the rest of the world.

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