Donald Trump loves to blame people for stuff that’s largely his fault. After he lost the 2020 election, he blamed Jared Kushner and his “woke shit.” When his candidates did poorly in the 2022 midterms, he blamed fellow Republicans’ poor handling of the “abortion issue.” He found many culprits for his administration’s poor handling of the pandemic, none of whom were him; on just the PPE shortage issue he managed to blame hospitals, Barack Obama, and the Russia and Ukraine investigation “hoaxes.”
But maybe Trump deserves a little credit for all the times he wanted to do something bad and pretend he wasn’t to blame, but didn’t. Incredibly, we now know of two separate instances when Trump proposed launching an international attack and acting like it wasn’t him.
In May 2022, we learned from former defense secretary Mark Esper’s book that Trump asked if he could “shoot missiles into Mexico to destroy the drug labs,” then lie to our ally about it. “No one would know it was us,” Trump said, according to Esper.
Now NBC News reports that Trump proposed nuking North Korea, then simply blaming someone else. This rather shocking tidbit is revealed in a new afterword to the paperback version of New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt’s book Donald Trump v. the United States, which focuses on former White House chief of staff John Kelly. Per NBC News:
“What scared Kelly even more than [Trump’s North Korea] tweets was the fact that behind closed doors in the Oval Office, Trump continued to talk as if he wanted to go to war. He cavalierly discussed the idea of using a nuclear weapon against North Korea, saying that if he took such an action, the administration could blame someone else for it to absolve itself of responsibility,” according to the new section of the book.
Kelly tried to use reason to explain to Trump why that would not work, Schmidt continues.
“It’d be tough to not have the finger pointed at us,” Kelly told the president, according to the afterword.
Kelly reportedly brought in a top military official to explain to Trump why a nuclear war with North Korea would be bad, but talk of high casualty numbers “had no impact on Trump,” Schmidt writes.
For whatever reason, however, Trump eventually lost interest in starting World War III. And in a surprising twist, he and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un became best friends, as shown in the documentary footage, below.
I’d say all’s well that ends well, but now I’m not totally convinced that the Notre-Dame fire, the college admissions scandal, and Prince Harry’s split from the royal family weren’t secretly Trump’s fault.
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