Donald Trump’s recent exchanges with North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un have been warm, with the President peppering his speeches with compliments for the leader of the hermit-kingdom. But a recent interview with Senator Lindsey Graham in the Washington Post offered a stark reminder that things haven’t always been that way.
Graham described a scene in the White House shortly after Trump’s inauguration when Trump mistakenly believed North Korea had fired a nuclear missile at the United States.
In the event of an imminent nuclear attack, the President would receive notification at the earliest opportunity, far earlier than the major news networks would get the scoop on a devastating attack that would lead to all-out war.
However, this didn’t stop Trump from believing he was watching a Fox News report for an incoming nuclear missile. The President believed that the images he was seeing of launching nuclear missiles were in fact live. More shockingly, he actually thought Fox News had obtained exclusive footage from inside North Korea.
According to the Post, Graham remembers calming Trump, telling him “that’s old footage, old footage!” It was at this point, Graham says, he decided to become one of Trump’s closest allies. Graham wanted to ensure Trump didn’t prematurely reach for the nuclear button.
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Oliver is a UK-born freelance writer and journalist based in Boston. He is a self-confessed politics junkie with a passion for foreign and environmental policy. His work has been featured on Open Democracy, International Policy Digest, and the London Economic. He was a regular contributor for ASEAN Today.