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Josh Earnest: Trump’s U.N. Speech was ‘Foolish,’ Lacked ‘Coherence’

Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” while reacting to President Donald Trump’s speech at United Nations, former White House press secretary for the Obama administration Josh Earnest said the overall speech lacked “coherence,” and Trump mocking North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un was “foolish.”

Earnest said, “Having sat in the hall of the United Nations where the president of the United States delivers an address for gathered world leaders — that’s something I did for the last three years—what you know world leaders are looking for in that room is a coherent strategy for taking on the biggest challenges around the globe. Whether that is climate change or refugee problems or rogue nations with nuclear weapons, the world looks to the United States to organize a coherent strategy.”

“As you point out, Andrea, there is a distinct lack of coherence in this strategy President Trump outlined today,” he added. “On the one hand, he’s suggested to North Korea that they need to work with the United Nations to denuclearize the Korean peninsula. Then two or three sentences later, he is trashing and vowing to tear up a deal that the United Nations is implementing to prevent Iran from getting access to a nuclear weapon. What this does, Andrea, is it puts the United States at a disadvantage, that part of our leadership in the world and part of the way we advance our interests, is by being able to articulate a strategy that the world joins us implementing. That coherence was lacking in today’s speech.”

On Trump’s comments on Kim Jong-un, Earnest said, “To be blunt, Andrea, I think it is foolish to goad or provoke or mock someone who, even in President Trump’s own words, is on a suicide mission. How is the United States’ position—or how is our national security strengthened by mocking the leader of North Korea? It is in nobody’s interest, particularly the most powerful, influential, strongest—the greatest country in the world, for the leader of that country to try to out Kim Jong-un. It doesn’t make any sense. It is certainly beneath the United States, and it does not advance our position to try to resolve this dispute in a way that  protects our own national security and also protects the national security of our allies in Asia.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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