Ok, so Donald Trump (again).
This morning, the President kicked off Sunday by calling unidentified Puerto Ricans “politically motivated ingrates,” a small (by his standards) escalation from Saturday’s tirade during which Trump posited a Democratic conspiracy involving San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz before essentially suggesting that Puerto Rico’s hurricane recovery effort would be moving along a lot faster if Puerto Ricans weren’t lazy.
It’s the weekend, which means Trump has all kinds of time on his hands to craft policy in 140 characters (amusingly, it seems like Twitter has not extended an invitation to Trump to participate in the 280 character trial run) and lash out at a list of enemies that, in addition to lazy Puerto Ricans, now includes Steph Curry and the NFL.
So it comes as no surprise that “Rocket Man” made an appearance in the President’s increasingly unhinged Twitter feed.
Now one thing you should note here is that Trump’s top advisors have been at pains to prevent him from accidentally starting a nuclear war. It was just last week when the LA Times reported that “senior aides to the President repeatedly warned him not to deliver a personal attack on North Korea’s leader at the United Nations, saying insulting the young despot in such a prominent venue could irreparably escalate tensions and shut off any chance for negotiations to defuse the nuclear crisis.”
Not only did Trump not heed that warning, he appears to have deviated from a speech that was vetted just hours earlier. “Trump’s derisive description of Kim Jong Un as ‘Rocket Man on a suicide mission’ and his threat to ‘totally destroy’ North Korea were not in a speech draft that several senior officials reviewed and vetted Monday, the day before Trump gave his first address to the U.N. General Assembly,” the Times went on to report.
Just six days later (so, last Sunday), Trump said in a tweet that North Korea “won’t be around much longer,” prompting an incredulous response the following day from North Korea’s top diplomat who, at an ad hoc presser in New York, accused the President of “declaring war.”
That brings us to this morning.
Just one day after after Rex Tillerson told reporters in Beijing that the U.S. is in direct contact with Pyongyang via “a couple, three channels” potentially opening the door for a peaceful resolution, Trump not only lashed out at Kim with the same derisive nickname, he even went so far as to directly reference Tillerson’s remarks. Here, look:
Forgive me, but it almost seems like he wants this to escalate. That is: why would you say that? And even if we want to go ahead and accept that another “Little Rocket Man” tweet was inevitable, why in God’s name would you directly reference Tillerson’s apparent efforts to negotiate, in the process leaving no doubt about what it is you’re referring to?
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) October 1, 2017
You’ve got to know that Tillerson is aghast, despite Trump’s bungling attempt to compliment him.
Now let’s wait around for the inevitable response from KCNA.
rocket man pic.twitter.com/UKM6AKMAw7
— Trump Draws (@TrumpDraws) September 20, 2017