Opening up yet another opportunity for the United States to be humiliated on the world stage, President Donald Trump has arrived in Japan for the first part of his 12 day tour of Asia. It’s the longest tour of the continent taken by an American president since George H.W. Bush, and it comes after he has already visited the Middle East and Europe in his young presidency.
He landed there early Sunday — but the newsworthy moments began before he even touched down.
Speaking to reporters on the way to Japan from Hawaii, Trump stated that he is planning on meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin during his time on the continent.
He told the press:
‘I think it’s expected we’ll meet with Putin, yeah. We want Putin’s help on North Korea, and we’ll be meeting with a lot of different leaders.’
Trump and Putin’s meeting is set to take place on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Da Nang, Vietnam. The two leaders have already met; the last time they met was at the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, earlier this year.
Trump faced criticism at the time for having an off-the-record meeting with Putin in conjunction with a dinner for world leaders, in addition to his main meeting.
Besides criticism over that off-the-record meeting, Trump has, of course, faced steep criticism over his team’s alleged collusion with Russia in the latter’s efforts to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential race. That meddling was in Trump’s favor, so he has little motivation to be cooperative with the investigation.
Indeed, he’s been anything but cooperative, insisting that the investigation into his team is a “witch hunt” and refusing to rule out firing Special Counsel for the Russia investigation Robert Mueller. Mueller’s investigation produced its first criminal charges just this last week, when former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and longtime Manafort and Trump associate Rick Gates were indicted on counts including money laundering and conspiracy against the U.S.
Besides his impending meeting with Putin, Trump is also set to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Chinese President Xi Jingping according to ABC. A main topic of conversation in all of these meetings will be the ongoing threat posed to the Western World and those nations allied with it by North Korea’s ever-increasing nuclear arsenal.
Trump has carried on for months against the North Korean regime, playing right into their game and giving them, in his angry, violent rhetoric, an excuse to keep building their nuclear capabilities.
He’s not likely to accept his responsibility for the situation in his meetings with our Asian allies. It’s not as though he takes the issue seriously — ABC reports that, asked ahead of his trip about the possibility for the North Koreans to conduct another nuclear test during his time in Asia, he quipped: “We’ll soon find out. Good luck!”
Besides the threat of North Korea, Trump will also be addressing economic issues during his time in Asia. He asserted on Twitter that he is “[h]eading into the 12 days with great negotiating strength because of our tremendous economy.”
Like always, he chronicled his trip on Twitter.
Check out Twitter’s response below.
Featured Image via Bloomberg/ Getty Images