In the rush to prepare [President] Trump for his meeting with Kim Jong Un in May, the White House is overseeing a frantic scramble to resolve even the most fundamental questions on the U.S. side: Where will the summit be? Who will be at the table? What should be on the agenda?
They have about 2½ months to figure it out — a rapid timetable, especially given the tumult roiling the White House. Since shocking the world — and his staff — by agreeing to meet with Kim, Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. He also decided to dump national security adviser H.R. McMaster when he finds a replacement.

If you are nervous about the prospect of an ignorant, undisciplined narcissist meeting with a rogue regime already thought to be in possession of multiple nuclear bombs, you’re not alone. (“Foreign policy experts warned that the Trump administration needs to be fully engaged, with the president making the summit his top priority, if the White House has any reasonable expectation of success. But even trying to define what success would look like is difficult, they said, because virtually no one thinks that Kim is willing to give up his nuclear weapons and it is unclear what Trump is willing to put on the table to persuade him.”) In other words, Trump’s agreement to meet was reckless and might wind up needlessly escalating the crisis.

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Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) tried to slow down the runaway train. In an appearance on “Face the Nation,” he suggested things might be, well, delayed a bit:

MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you think the president should sit down with Kim Jong Un?
CORKER: I think it’s fine– it– look, it’s going to happen. I think–
BRENNAN: You do believe that meeting’s gonna happen?
CORKER: I– I– I think ultimately it happens. I do. You’ve already, you’ve seen the administration sort of move away from an instant meeting. They’ve– said that– you know, well, they don’t know exactly when it’s going to occur. And I think there’s–
BRENNAN: So maybe not May, which is when the South Koreans–
CORKER: Well, I think you’re seeing that happen because the realities of what you have to do in preparation to make sure that it’s successful. It takes a while for that to occur. We do have back channels ourselves, by the way– to North Korea. And– you know, we have our ways of– of setting things like that up in an appropriate manner.
BRENNAN: And– do you think Mike Pompeo, who’s currently at the CIA but will ultimately– face confirmation ahead of your committee to become Secretary of State. Is he the right person to be leading that diplomacy? I mean is he already laying some of this ground work?
CORKER: I think he became aware of his situation– over the weekend. And you saw where he had already briefed himself up on North Korea a little but more fully than he otherwise would have, probably. It’s my sense that Pompeo is much more aligned with the president. And so I think one of the questions he’ll get– you know, during the hearing process, is just ensuring that– he’s gonna be giving honest assessments– and that full range of options to the president as decisions are being made. My sense is, though, they will get along. They will move much more fully together as they move down the path on foreign policy.
BRENNAN: Do you expect to have a new secretary of state by May?
CORKER: Look, it’s– Margaret, as you know, we’re moving into the– sort of the election season, and things are beginning to feel slightly– more partisan. I hope that’s the case, but we’ll see . . .

In other words, he’s not guaranteeing that we will even have a confirmed secretary of state by May. Since Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is bent on opposing Pompeo’s nomination, Republicans can lose only one more vote — assuming Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) can be present for the vote — unless they get some Democratic support.

Listen, Pompeo and Corker by now have learned not to tell the president that he made a blunder, unaware of the ramifications of what he was doing. The best approach, the only viable approach, may well be to proceed cautiously and take things one step at a time. We don’t even have direct public confirmation from North Korea that it actually does want to meet and is willing to denuclearize. If and when we get that, then preparatory meetings can commence, provided that we have a new secretary of state in place and can find people expert enough to negotiate with the regime.

The extent to which members of Trump’s own party must tiptoe around, trying to keep the country from grievous error, should underscore just how unfit Trump is to be commander in chief. Indeed, if Trump were intellectually and temperamentally prepared, he never would have impulsively declared his willingness to meet with Kim.