Monday June 1st, 2020 12:55PM

Trump's Year 3 aims for dramatic sequels to rival originals

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — As President Donald Trump prepares to meet North Korea's Kim Jong Un for a second time, he's out to replicate the suspenseful buildup, make-or-break stakes and far-flung rendezvous of their first encounter. The reality star American president will soon learn if the sequel, on this matter and many others, can compete with the original.

In his third year in office, Trump is starting to air some reruns.

Trump is headed into fresh negotiations with North Korea, is still pushing for his long-promised U.S.-Mexico border wall and is considering a new round of tax cuts. The focus on his greatest hits in part reflects Trump's desire to fulfill campaign promises and energize voters for his 2020 re-election campaign. But it's not without risks.

"The danger is the public starts recognizing this is Groundhog Day," said presidential historian Douglas Brinkley. "You keep thinking there is a win and there is no win. It's not clear Trump is scoring durable history points."

With his reality TV background and instinctive sense of how to control a news cycle, Trump has long micromanaged the staging of his image, eager to project power and drama.

Those instincts were on full display during the recent scrap over his second State of the Union address. Trump rejected his aides' suggestions that he deliver the address from an alternate site after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., withdrew her invitation for him speak at the Capitol during the government shutdown. Trump opted to wait for the real deal.

"There is no venue that can compete with the history, tradition and importance of the House Chamber," he tweeted.

In his dealings with North Korea, both past and future, Trump has been intent on ginning up excitement.

After months of trading escalating nuclear threats with the North, Trump memorably popped his head into the White House briefing room last March to hint at big news to come. Not long afterward, officials announced that a Trump-Kim meeting was in the offing.

From there, Trump teased dates and locations, threatened to cancel it — and did so at one point — before signing off on the plan for the historic meeting in Singapore last June.

Trump was delighted that the first summit received round-the-clock cable TV coverage for days, something he had hoped to repeat last summer when he met with Russia's Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, according to two Republicans close to the White House not authorized to speak publicly about private matters. But Trump saw the Putin coverage take a negative turn after he refused to side with U.S. intelligence agencies over the Russian president in a post-summit news conference.

This time, Trump has again tried to draw out the suspense, teasing the possibility of another meeting with Kim for months and waxing poetic about his relationship with the authoritarian leader. But Trump has glossed over the fact that the first meeting produced little in the way of tangible results toward denuclearization, instead stressing that North Korea's threats have fallen off and suggesting there is an opportunity for further progress.

Aides counseled the president that a second summit would probably not carry the same drama as the first, and needed more concrete results, but Trump urged them to push forward before deciding to announce it during this past week's State of the Union address. He insisted to advisers that the Vietnam summit would still be must-see TV, and told one confidant that the idea of "good vs. evil" would be irresistible.

Brinkley noted there is precedent for requiring more than one summit to make a deal, citing the repeated arms control meetings between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. But he argued that those were a better investment, given that "Russia is a great power" while "North Korea is a rogue actor."

As for other White House sequels, Trump would be happy to produce Tax Cut 2.0. He oversaw a massive tax cut at the end of 2017 and teased the possibility of another in the runup to the 2018 midterm elections. Economic adviser Larry Kudlow pushed back on the suggestion that it was simply a pre-election ploy as he spoke to reporters at the White House this past week.

"We're kicking it around," said Kudlow. "We're looking at a couple of very interesting things that may wind up surprising folks."

You can also count on Trump to continue the tough immigration rhetoric that defined his campaign and became a central part of his midterm election push. He forced the government into a 35-day partial shutdown over his demand to fund a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and views his immigration efforts as key to his re-election campaign.

Brinkley said of Trump's repeat performances: "He's a child of the 1970s with boxing matches. It's like the rematch with Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier."


Follow Lucey and Lemire on Twitter at https://twitter.com/catherine_lucey and http://twitter.com/@JonLemire

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online President, White House, advisers News, AP Elections, AP Business, AP Elections - Campaigns
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
More states adopting gun-seizure laws after Parkland tragedy
In the year since the deadly mass shooting at a Florida high school, nine states have passed laws making it easier to take guns away from people who may be suicidal or bent on violence against others
9:31AM ( 5 minutes ago )
Trump's Year 3 aims for dramatic sequels to rival originals
As President Donald Trump prepares to meet North Korea's Kim Jong Un for a second time, he's out to replicate the suspenseful buildup, make-or-break stakes and far-flung rendezvous of their first encounter
9:26AM ( 11 minutes ago )
Ukrainian president vows to push for EU, NATO membership
Ukraine's president says the nation needs to join the European Union and NATO to protect itself from Russia's expansionist actions
9:10AM ( 26 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Leader of new climate panel talks of need for 'bold action'
House Democrats are confident a special committee they have set up on climate change can lead to "bold action." But before the committee can get to work, it first needs to find office space, hire staff and await Republican members
8:11AM ( 1 hour ago )
Thailand puzzles over political surprises from royals
Thai political party swears loyalty to the king after its stunning decision to nominate the monarch's sister as its candidate for prime minister backfired when the king called the move inappropriate and unconstitutional
5:59AM ( 3 hours ago )
UK scraps Brexit ferry deal with firm that has no ships
The British government has canceled a contract to ship goods to the country after Brexit with a company that turned out to have no boats and no experience running a ferry service
5:20AM ( 4 hours ago )
AP National News
Manfred: No DH or draft changes likely for 2019
Manfred knocks down prospect of DH in NL, calling issue too complicated to put in place this season
11:53PM ( 9 hours ago )
Scandals drive calls for top Virginia leadership to resign
Scandals fraught with questions of race, sex and power driving calls in Virginia for the departure of the state's three top elected leaders
11:27PM ( 10 hours ago )
Abortion case shows Roberts firmly at Supreme Court's center
Chief Justice John Roberts broke with the Supreme Court's other conservative justices and his own voting record on abortion to block a Louisiana law requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital
10:55PM ( 10 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Booker urges activists, leaders to heed social justice call
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker takes his call for social justice to Iowa, where he is visiting with African-American leaders
11:31PM ( 10 hours ago )
Sen. Brown calls for 'pro-family' workplace in New Hampshire
Sen. Sherrod Brown, a presidential hopeful who hopes to set himself apart from other candidates with his broad appeal to the working class, is in New Hampshire this weekend exploring a potential bid as he tours early primary and caucus states
10:03PM ( 11 hours ago )
US, N. Korean negotiators to meet again before 2nd summit
The top U.S. envoy for North Korea has returned from three days of talks in Pyongyang and will meet again with his North Korean counterpart before the second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un later this month
9:57PM ( 11 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
O'Rourke to lead anti-wall march during Trump Texas rally
Beto O'Rourke will lead a march though his hometown of El Paso, Texas, to protest a border wall at the same time President Donald Trump will be holding a rally there to promote it
7:10PM ( 14 hours ago )
Globe-trotting political donor eyed in Trump inaugural probe
Prosecutors investigating President Donald Trump's inaugural committee have asked for records related to a prolific political fundraiser with ties to foreign officials
12:32AM ( 1 day ago )
The Latest: Turkey building collapse death toll rises to 10
Turkish officials have raised the death toll from the collapse of an eight-story apartment building in Istanbul to 10
11:41AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online President, White House, advisers News
Booker taking 2020 campaign, social-justice message to Iowa
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker is taking his call for social justice to Iowa, where he is visiting with African-American leaders
6:34PM ( 15 hours ago )
GOP candidate withdraws challenge for Kentucky House seat
Republican candidate DJ Johnson has withdrawn his challenge of a close Kentucky state House race
5:17PM ( 16 hours ago )
US peace envoy says talks with Taliban far from finished
The Trump administration's peace envoy for Afghanistan says negotiations with the Taliban have a long way to go to achieve peace
4:39PM ( 16 hours ago )
AP Elections
Scuffles at Paris yellow vest protests on 13th weekend
Yellow Vests protesters are gathering around France for the 13th consecutive weekend
7:16AM ( 2 hours ago )
Train crash near Barcelona leaves 1 dead, many slightly hurt
Authorities in northeastern Spain say two passenger trains have rammed head-on into each other on a track near Barcelona, killing one person
3:15AM ( 6 hours ago )
Arizona wants care unit where patient was raped to stay open
The embattled operators of an Arizona long-term care facility have agreed to be regulated by the state, effectively nixing a plan to close down the unit where an incapacitated woman was raped and then later gave birth
7:56PM ( 13 hours ago )
AP Business
Booker taking 2020 campaign, call for social justice to Iowa
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker is taking his call for social justice to Iowa, where he plans to visit with African-American leaders on his first trip to the early 2020 caucus state as a Democratic presidential candidate
1:19AM ( 1 day ago )
Indicted political operative appeared in unlikely places
The American political operative linked to admitted Russian covert agent Maria Butina and accused this week of fraud, has turned up in the unlikeliest of places
8:16PM ( 1 day ago )
Illinois Senate backs $15 hourly minimum wage within 6 years
The Illinois Senate has agreed to hike the statewide minimum wage to $15 an hour within six years, quickly advancing a top campaign promise of the newly elected Democratic governor
6:06PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Elections - Campaigns
Ukrainian president vows to push for EU, NATO membership
Ukraine's president says the nation needs to join the European Union and NATO to protect itself from Russia's expansionist actions
9:10AM ( 26 minutes ago )
Woman acquitted of blasphemy still can't leave Pakistan
A Christian woman acquitted of blasphemy after spending eight years on death row in Pakistan has been transferred from a secret location near the capital to another in Karachi
9:03AM ( 33 minutes ago )
Svindal beaten by teammate Jansrud in his final race
If anyone had to beat Aksel Lund Svindal in his final race, he seemed just fine with it being Norwegian teammate Kjetil Jansrud
8:57AM ( 39 minutes ago )
French yellow vest protester sustains hand injury in Paris
French police say that a yellow vest protester has sustained a hand injury in Paris as the 13th consecutive weekend of demonstrations grew tense
8:46AM ( 50 minutes ago )
French minister warns Italian populist over diplomat recall
France's Europe minister says she hopes the "message was understood" by Italy after this week's stunning recall of France's ambassador to Italy in the two EU countries' biggest diplomatic dispute since World War II
8:43AM ( 53 minutes ago )