Today, we learned that Donald Trump's team of crackpot lawyers, Dowd, Sekulow and (snicker!) Ty Cobb (snicker!), are insisting that in order for their presidential client to meet with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Mueller has to agree to end his investigation and to limit the scope of the questions for Trump.
I know. Hilarious.
First of all, Mueller will never agree to these ridiculous terms. If he does, then he's not nearly the sharp-as-tacks prosecutor everyone's been saying. But he won't, because he and his team are the Untouchables v.2, and they won't be outsmarted by Trump and his Three Stooges.
Secondly, if only Trump were this persnickety about his kneejerk acceptance of an invitation from Kim Jong Un to meet and talk, presumably in Pyongyang. Within minutes of the announcement by South Korean officials outside the West Wing, we learned that Trump almost immediately accepted the invitation despite his own State Department saying hours earlier that there hadn't been any "talks about talks" -- the normal process leading up to a high level summit meeting that outlines every minuscule detail of these sorts of negotiations.
Instead, Trump just randomly agreed to Kim's offer, with seemingly little or no advance preparation. In fact, Trump probably believes he's the only president to receive such an offer from North Korea. You know, just like he thought Frederick Douglass is still alive and that passing healthcare reform would be easy. Trump, of course, knows nothing. Turns out, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama were all invited to meet, or at least speak on the phone with either Kim Jong Un or his father, Kim Jong Il.
Make no mistake, talking with our enemies is perfectly acceptable. But we don't want to fall into a trap. And this looks like a trap. Trump's public profile makes him insanely manipulable. Likewise, Trump isn't even trying to set up terms or conditions for the meeting, and there's really no time between now and the proposed May meeting to do extensive prep for such an unprecedented gathering. Everything from the seat assignments to the meeting place to the type of bottled water on the table to the topics of discussion have to be negotiated well in advance. None of that has been happening.
Why would it? Trump clearly agreed to the meeting because he thought he strong-armed Kim to the table with his "Little Rocket Man" taunts and his threats of "fire and fury." He thought this was a new thing. He figured he'd be able to spin this meeting into an historic win and, perhaps, a Nobel Peace Prize. It'd be very easy for Trump to convince his MAGA-hat disciples that he's the great peacemaker, bringing one of the Axis Of Evil nations to its knees.
Frankly, it'll be amazing if the meeting ever happens. Already, the White House appears to be walking back Trump's dangerously overzelaous acceptance of the invitation. Sarah Huckabee Sanders clarified: “The president will not have the meeting without seeing concrete steps and concrete actions take place by North Korea.” Okeedokee. Yet another White House official told the Wall Street Journal, "The invitation has been extended and accepted, and that stands." Yeah, but... "concrete steps and action" seem to be a big hurdle to clear, especially given that Trump expects Kim to denuclearize -- something he'll never, ever do.
The very fact that Trump agreed within minutes of the announcement was a huge victory for Kim. Now the dictator (Kim not Trump) can tell his people that he and his Taepodong missiles forced the Great Dotard, Trump, to negotiate terms. Hence the White House scramble to suddenly apply terms that Kim will never accept, and if he does, he'll never actually dismantle a damn thing.
Yeah, so this is a nonstarter. Any opinions to the contrary are foolish.
Last Summer, Trump said he ordered a Navy armada to the Korean peninsula. It turned out the armada was 3,000 miles away and moving farther southward, progressively away from the Sea of Japan. We should expect this episode to go just as badly for President Biff Tannen and his White House goon squad.