Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) likes to think of himself as one of the Senate’s foremost experts on foreign policy related to North Korea. In reality, the White House tends to ignore Gardner (who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee) and whatever it is he has to say about the DPRK and its cherubic leader, Kim Jong Un — unless, of course, the Trump administration has to clean up after Gardner inserts his foot in his mouth.
As we wrote on Tuesday, Gardner was (once again) made to look like a fool by President Trump in regards to North Korea:
That Gardner is still clinging to the phrase “maximum pressure” to describe American policy toward North Korea shows how far removed from reality Gardner’s rhetoric is. When Trump agreed to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with no preconditions, the “maximum pressure” strategy against North Korea was effectively abandoned. Trump’s abrupt cancellation of that summit, only to un-cancel it a few days later, means that no one should consider these latest threats to be in any way definitive…
…In summary, the state of American diplomacy with North Korea can be characterized in many ways, but in 2018 the one phrase that does not apply is “maximum pressure.” We believe that Gardner knows this perfectly well, but he also knows that anything other than covering for Trump no matter what happens would have serious consequences: both for Gardner personally, and Republicans in the upcoming midterms generally.
It’s what Cory Gardner has been reduced to under Trump. A toady with a script that changes too often.
Perhaps Gardner is embarrassed by his role as Trump’s North Korea toady. Perhaps Gardner realizes that he needs to start to act like a real boy in advance of his 2020 re-election campaign. Whatever the reason, today Gardner drew a line in the sand that he might not be able to avoid crossing anytime soon:
I hope Kim Jong Un will come to his senses and fulfill the promise he made. I remain committed to a peaceful resolution but will not allow the United States to be fooled again.
— Cory Gardner (@SenCoryGardner) August 29, 2018
Gardner now says confidently that he “will not allow the United States to be fooled again.” This is a bold statement coming from a guy who was totally onboard with Trump’s salesmanship on June 7:
Gardner says he believes the Trump Administration’s policy of isolating North Korea is working.
A few days after than statement, Gardner was dutifully cheerleading for Trump in the wake of the President’s absurd claim that he had fixed the problem of a North Korea nuclear threat after one sit-down meeting with Kim Jong Un. Did Gardner really believe that Trump had “solved” North Korea at the time? That seems…unlikely.
Anyway, regardless of what Gardner thought two months ago, he now swears that he will not be fooled again! Or, more accurately, that he “will not allow the United States to be fooled again.”
If you have a nagging feeling that Gardner won’t be able to keep this promise, you’re not alone.