In an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, President Donald Trump took a swipe at former President Barack Obama, suggesting that he was able to secure a deal with a rogue nuclear nation without dropping pallets full of cash on Tehran tarmacs.
Many of the same media figures who’ve scoffed at Trump’s attempt to ink a nuclear deal with North Korea are the same media figures who trumpeted President Obama’s nuclear deal with the Mullahs of Iran, and Trump isn’t willing to let the media forget about it. Both deals had their risks, clearly, and Trump seems to want fair treatment in that regard.
Stephanopoulos asks Trump whether, now that he’s had experience negotiating for disarmament with a nuclear power, if he still believes that Obama’s deal with Iran was misguided.
Oh, he does.
G: You’ve set the bar for nuclear agreements by criticizing the Iran nuclear deal, said it’s the worst deal ever made.
T: Terrible deal.
G: Does that mean that any deal with North Korea has to be tougher than the Iran deal?
T: I don’t think a deal could be softer. First of all, we’re not paying $150 billion, OK, we’re paying nothing from that standpoint other than, you will see what happens.
There’s also another important distinction between the Iran deal and the North Korea deal: there aren’t any long-term benchmarks to be met in the North Korean deal. Both countries decided what they’d be willing to part with, and neither country has yet taken steps to ensure those concessions end up happening (though North Korea has demilitarized to some degree, in the sense that one of their facilities has melted down).
And Trump being Trump, he never misses an opportunity to point out his own superiority.