Speaking before a dinner with military leaders and their spouses on Thursday night, President Trump said that the gathering may represent “the calm before the storm.” The comment occurred at the White House State Dining Room before a group of reporters.
Bloomberg reports that the president asks the reporters, “You guys know what this represents? Maybe it’s the calm before the storm.”
When asked what he meant, President Trump answered, “You’ll find out.”
Earlier in the day, Mr. Trump had said that his Administration was focused on “challenges that we really should have taken care of a long time ago, like North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, ISIS, and the revisionist powers that threaten our interests all around the world.”
At that point, the president made what seemed to be a warning to North Korea. “We cannot allow this dictatorship to threaten our nation or our allies with unimaginable loss of life,” Trump said. “We will do what we must do to prevent that from happening. And it will be done, if necessary — believe me.”
The president’s comments may be the latest in a series of attempts to convince the North Korean regime that Trump is unhinged. Over the past few months, President Trump has engaged in a rhetorical war of words with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in which the two men seemingly try to one-up each other’s martial boasts. Over the weekend, President Trump tweeted that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was “wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man,” Trump’s nickname for the North Korean leader.
Axios recently reported that President Trump had urged his staff to portray him as “crazy” as a negotiating tactic with South Korea. According to the report, Trump told diplomats pressing for a renegotiation of the US trade pact with South Korea, “This guy’s so crazy he could pull out any minute.”
The tactic appears to have worked with the South Koreans. On Thursday, South Korea agreed to amend the trade deal.