President Trump lashed out Friday at Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), complaining that he was offering unneeded advice in advance of Trump’s high-stakes summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday.
In a morning tweet, Trump said that President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats did “NOTHING about North Korea, and now weak on Crime, High Tax Schumer is telling me what to do at the Summit the Dems could never set up.”
“Schumer failed with North Korea and Iran, we don’t need his advice!” Trump concluded.
The Senate’s top Democrats insisted in a letter to President Trump on Monday that any deal with North Korea must completely dismantle Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs permanently and that the White House must loop Congress in on its plans before negotiations begin.
Schumer and several ranking Democrats issued a list of conditions in anticipation of the scheduled summit in Singapore between Trump and Kim, pressing the president to maintain a tough and unsparing stance with the North Korean leader and with his ally China to ensure that the talks achieve “full, complete and verifiable denuclearization of North Korea” — and nothing less.
Trump in recent days has sought to downplay expectations for the meeting, saying that denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula remains the goal but that it could take time to get there.
“This will be, at a minimum, we’ll start with perhaps a good relationship,” Trump told reporters Thursday.
During the same session in the Oval Office, he also downplayed the need for advance work on the summit, saying: “I don’t think I have to prepare very much. It’s about the attitude.”
Schumer needled Trump on Twitter later in the day, writing: “With ICBMs and nuclear warheads in the hands of North Korea, the situation is far too dangerous for seat of the pants negotiating.”
Schumer also responded on Twitter to Trump’s latest attack on him.
“A little less tweeting, a little more preparing for the summit,” he wrote. “Our points are important ones that should be considered.”
Trump fired off the tweet just more than an hour before he was scheduled to depart the White House en route to a Group of Seven summit in Canada, where he is girding to clash with the host country and other U.S. allies over trade.
In a likely preview of what’s to come, Trump said in another tweet on Friday morning: “Canada charges the U.S. a 270% tariff on Dairy Products! They didn’t tell you that, did they? Not fair to our farmers!”
In another tweet, Trump said: “Looking forward to straightening out unfair Trade Deals with the G-7 countries. If it doesn’t happen, we come out even better!”
In yet another tweet, Trump noted his planned trips both to Canada and Singapore and said he would not be talking for a while about the special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, which Trump called the “Russian Witch Hunt Hoax.”
Trump has repeatedly criticized the investigation on Twitter in recent weeks.
Karoun Demirjian contributed to this report.