A video has recently surfaced on YouTube which shows Donald Trump being interviewed by the late Tim Russert of NBC back in 1999.
In the interview, Russert asks Trump about North Korea’s weapons programs. Trump then lays out the very crisis scenario now transpiring between the US and North Korea, and how he would deal with it, were he president.
Like many interviews with Trump on political issues over the years, it reveals a remarkable consistency in the man’s thinking and positions over the decades – a far cry from the MSM caricature of Trump as flip flopping and reckless.
In the interview, Trump says he would be prepared to strike first against Pyongyang, but that negotiation would be the first option:
First I’d negotiate. I would negotiate like crazy. And I’d make sure we tried to get the best deal possible.
Trump stressed that nuclear weapons were the world’s biggest security risk, but that North Korea had a deliberate strategy behind its nuclear program:
The biggest problem in this world has is nuclear proliferation. And we have a country out there, North Korea, which is sort of wacko – which is not a bunch of dummies – and they are going out and they are developing nuclear weapons. And they’re not doing it because they are having fun doing it – they’re doing it for a reason.
Trump also predicted if the North Korea issue were not solved then, it would reach a crisis in the future:
Wouldn’t it be good to sit down and negotiate something? I mean really negotiate. If that negotiation doesn’t work you’d better solve the problem now then solve it later Tim…
Do you want to do it in 5 years when they have warheads all over the place?
The future president then told Russert that it was precisely the willingness to use force, which would convince the Hermit Kingdom to come to the bargaining table:
If they think you’re serious -I deal with lots of people – if they think you’re serious, they’ll negotiate and it’ll never come to [war].
If this is still Trump’s thinking today, it provides some explanation for the “fire and fury” bluster Trump directed at at Kim Jong-Un just a few days ago.
Who knew in 1999 that 18 years later, President Donald Trump would be in the hot seat putting precisely the scenario he described back then to the test?
It remains to be seen whether a tough guy approach will be successful in convincing Kim Jong-un to rein in his nuclear and missile programs. The world is watching with anticipation.