President Trump always shoots from the hip. That’s why some of what he says is either untrue, distorted, or makes no sense at all. Occasionally he comes off with a statement that almost certainly shaves a few minutes off Sean Spicer’s life expectancy. The latest one hinges on the use of a single word: “honored.”
Earlier today, Trump said that he would be “honored” to meet with Kim Jong Un under the right circumstances. In the real world, there is a big difference between being willing to meet with someone and being honored to do so. In Trump’s stream of consciousness, wilted word salad, probably not so much. The President does seem to make a habit of saying nice things about terrible people though. Some dictators get treated better in Trump’s rhetoric than some members of his own political party.
Spicer had to know he was going to get hit with this line of questioning. He did his best to slap it down without actually addressing the situation. I think this is one of those times where we’re supposed to take Trump “seriously, not literally.” The man struggles to form a complete sentence when being interviewed. He’s obviously not parsing his words before saying them.
However, this is another example of the tribal mentality in politics. Remember when as a candidate Barack Obama said he would meet with the president of Iran without setting any conditions? People on the right lost their minds.
Had Barack Obama as President said that he would be “honored” to meet with Kim Jong Un, it would be the lead item for discussion on Fox News for at least a week. Sean Hannity would get at least a month of radio shows out of it. In today’s politics right and wrong are not a function of the nature of a statement but rather a function of who said it and which side they’re on.
Spicer is in a hard position though when the only real defense of a statement by a President is he didn’t understand what he was saying.