FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to members of the U.S. military after his summit meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un in Vietnam during a refueling stop at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska, U.S., February 28, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis
SEOUL (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday that the Democrats’ decision to interview his longtime fixer, lawyer Michael Cohen, on the same day as a meeting with Kim Jong Un may have led to the North Korea summit ending with no deal.
“For the Democrats to interview in open hearings a convicted liar & fraudster, at the same time as the very important Nuclear Summit with North Korea, is perhaps a new low in American politics and may have contributed to the ‘walk.’” Trump said on Twitter, referring to his decision to walk away from what he previously said was a bad deal with Kim.
“Never done when a president is overseas. Shame!”
Last week in Hanoi Trump and Kim met for the second time to try to negotiate a deal that would surrender some of North Korea’s nuclear weapons arsenal in return for sanctions relief.
At the same time in Washington, Trump’s former aide Cohen was testifying before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Oversight Committee, accusing Trump of ordering his personal attorney to make threats for him about 500 times over the last 10 years.
When asked about Cohen’s testimony at a press conference on Thursday in Hanoi after Trump had abruptly decided to end the summit with Kim early, the president called the allegations “incorrect” and criticized the decision to have the hearing while he was away.
“I tried to watch as much as I could,” Trump said. “I wasn’t able to watch too much because I’ve been a little bit busy, but I think having a fake hearing like that and having it in the middle of this very important summit is really a terrible thing.”
Reporting by Josh Smith; Editing by Michael Perry