Cover-ups all over the place
After this tweet was posted the administration hustled to say that he was really talking about some future sanctions nobody knew about.
It was bullshit:
Trump administration officials who demanded that they not be named used a false cover story to explain away a bizarre tweet by President Donald Trump on supposed “additional sanctions” against North Korea, Bloomberg News reported Tuesday.This is a cover-up, although it might be understandable since the Dotard is playing with nuclear winter.
Some analysts thought Trump was talking about sanctions the Treasury Department had imposed the previous day, Thursday, on two Chinese shipping companies accused of helping North Korea dodge existing sanctions.
But officials who insisted to news outlets they not be named told those outlets that wasn’t the case.
For example, The Washington Post reported following Trump’s tweet:
In fact, Trump was referring to a future round of previously unknown sanctions scheduled for the coming days, said administration officials familiar with the matter. The officials declined to specify what those sanctions would entail.Administration officials said Trump is determined to prevent his more hawkish advisers from undercutting what he considers his biggest foreign policy accomplishment: reducing tensions with North Korea and creating the opportunity for a historic deal.
When asked to explain the tweet, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders simply noted that “President Trump likes Chairman Kim, and he doesn’t think these sanctions will be necessary.”
And NBC News reported:
But late Friday, a U.S. official and a personal familiar with the situation both told NBC News that Trump was talking about a plan to roll out a major new round of sanctions on Pyongyang that he scuttled before it could be publicly announced by his lieutenants. That is, he tweeted that he was killing a sanctions plan the public didn’t know about until he announced he wasn’t acting on it.However, according to Bloomberg’s new report citing five unnamed “people familiar with the matter,” Trump really was referring to the Thursday sanctions on the Chinese shipping companies with his tweet: “The president in fact intended to remove penalties Treasury had announced the day before against two Chinese shipping companies that had helped Pyongyang evade U.S. sanctions,” the outlet reported. (The sanctions on the Chinese shipping companies remain in place.)
Bloomberg reported that no additional sanctions were in the works at the time of Trump’s tweet. The claim otherwise from the administration — which “initially request[ed] no attribution to anyone” — was an attempt, in Bloomberg’s words, “to explain away the move with a statement.”
That means the unnamed “administration officials” claiming otherwise to reporters last week had relayed false information.
Recall, however, that he's reportedly sidelined his North Korea negotiators and is going it alone. God help us.