Trump shakes hands with Kim Jong Un
Credit: Dan Scavino Jr/Wikimedia Commons

On Monday, the New York Times reported that North Korea “is moving ahead with its ballistic missile program at 16 hidden bases that have been identified in new commercial satellite images.” Today, the president of the United States called this “nothing new” and “fake news.”

There’s more than a little reason to believe that President Trump is not an objective judge in this case. While campaigning unsuccessfully against Senator Joe Manchin in West Virginia, Trump described his relationship with Kim Jong Un this way, “…we fell in love, OK? No, really, he wrote me beautiful letters, and they’re great letters. We fell in love.”

This is insane. But it’s also the kind of thing that warrants removal from office. Unless you think North Korea’s nuclear and intercontinental missile programs are trifling matters, it’s simply too dangerous to have a commander in chief who refuses to take the intelligence seriously.

I don’t really understand why Trump has an affinity for the world’s most horrible leaders or why he picks fights with our allies. To some degree, he can choose who he likes and who he doesn’t. But when it comes to the threat of a nuclear attack on our country or on our allies, we can’t tolerate someone who won’t look at evidence.

This subject is a whole lot more serious than violations of the Emoluments Clause, violations of campaign finance law, or even obstruction of the Russia investigation. It could be a matter of life and death for hundreds of thousands or even millions.

Maybe it’s because this is so serious that the media can’t seem to treat it with urgency and prominence it deserves.  I would hope that Trump’s cabinet understands what is at stake, but I don’t see much evidence for that.  The longer this goes on, the more normalized it becomes. And the threat grows.

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at