Aides Warned Trump Not to Personally Attack Kim at UN

Threat to 'Totally Destroy' North Korea Wasn't in Draft Speech

President Trump appears to have gone off-script in his speech earlier this week at the UN General Assembly, ignoring the advice of senior aides not to deliver any personal attacks on North Korea’s leader, and warning it could irreparably escalate tensions.

Trump’s staff was given a draft of the speech and reviewed it the day before the speech. The parts where he called Kim Jong Un “Rocket Man” and claimed he was suicidal, along with the part threatening to “totally destroy North Korea” were not in that draft at all.

While this isn’t far afield from the threats Trump and his cabinet make nearly daily against North Korea, doing so at the UN General Assembly is seen as a major escalation, with advisors worrying it’s going to push North Korea into taking rash retaliatory action.

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster appears to have been among those warning Trump against such comments during the General Assembly, and apparently had spent months trying to talk him out of any such move.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of