One has to wonder how many time James Mattis, H.R. McMaster, and John Kelly hear President Trump say something, quietly shake their heads and say to themselves, “I have another mess to clean up.”
In the latest example, it’s national-security adviser H.R. McMaster having to clean up after a Trump gaffe. I am sure Trump defenders will shout, “3D chess!” in response to making it appear as though it’s all part of some master plan.
Trump, in a moment of ignorance, said the following about THAAD (Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense) in an interview with the Washington Times:
Mr. Trump said that Thaad is “meant to protect South Korea. So I respectfully say that I think it would be appropriate if they paid for it.” In the Reuters interview, Mr. Trump said: “We’re going to protect them. But they should pay for that, and they understand that.”
The Commander-In-Chief of the armed forces apparently doesn’t realize the United States has nearly 30,000 troops stationed in South Korea, so the defense system is not just to “protect South Korea.”
McMaster had to step in and fix the mess:
In a 35-minute phone call Sunday morning, Gen. McMaster told Kim Kwan-jin, South Korea’s national-security adviser, that the U.S. would finance Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense, or Thaad, as agreed to by the two countries last year, according to a statement from South Korea’s presidential Blue House.
During the phone call, Gen. McMaster also praised the U.S. alliance with South Korea as “the most solid alliance” and as Washington’s priority in the region, saying that “the U.S. will be with the Republic of Korea 100%,” using the formal name for South Korea.
Trump behaves as though he’s negotiating deals for Trump Steaks or Trump Water instead of matters critical to our defense and national security.
Tearing up agreements vital to national security is not akin to backing out of a real estate deal and losing a deposit. There are real-world consequences, and our President doesn’t seem to have a grasp on this reality.