This column provides a daily update on key presidential actions as well as comments, whether spoken aloud or on Twitter, by President Trump. Like the stock market, the deadline for Trump Today action is 4 p.m. Eastern Time, even as we acknowledge that substantive news can and does occur after hours.
President Donald Trump said Tuesday that his planned summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un could be delayed, as he suggested China’s president could be to blame for Kim’s shifting attitude.
‘IT MAY NOT WORK OUT FOR JUNE 12’
Trump said his summit with Kim “may not work out for June 12.” Meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Trump told reporters he noticed a change in Kim Jong Un’s attitude after the North Korean leader met with Chinese President Xi Jinping a second time. Calling Xi a “world-class poker player,” Trump said he thought things changed after the meeting. “I can’t say that I’m happy about it,” Trump said.
Trump said of the Kim summit, “if it doesn’t happen, maybe it will happen later.” North Korea has said it might cancel the summit if the U.S. insists Kim’s regime gives up nuclear weapons.
TRUMP ‘NOT REALLY’ PLEASED WITH CHINA TRADE TALKS
Trump was asked in the Oval Office if he was happy with how U.S.-China trade talks were going. “Not really,” he replied. Over the weekend, the administration suspended its threat to slap tariffs on Chinese goods as talks continue, but Trump made it clear he’s impatient.
“We have a long way to go,” Trump said. “We’re looking to go quickly.” On the specific issue of ZTE Corp. ZTCOY, -15.37% , Trump said there was no deal to save the Chinese telecom company, but added he is reconsidering penalties on it since Xi asked him “to look into that.” The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday the U.S. and China have agreed on the broad outline of a deal for ZTE, which if completed would remove the ban on U.S. companies selling components and software to the company. The penalty has threatened to put ZTE out of business.
SPY IN CAMPAIGN WOULD BE ‘VERY ILLEGAL’
Trump again addressed his claims that a spy was implanted in his campaign, something he hasn’t provided evidence for. If there was a spy, “that would be unprecedented in the history of our country,” he said in the Oval Office, and it would be “very illegal.” On May 17, Trump tweeted “word seems to be coming out” the FBI “spied on the Trump campaign with an embedded informant.” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has directed the Justice Department to investigate Trump’s claims.