The most powerful man in the world

The most powerful man in the world

by digby

The toddler will save the day:

Summoned to the Oval Office on the spur of the moment, the South Korean envoy found himself face to face with President Trump one afternoon last week at what he thought might be a hinge moment in history. 
Chung Eui-yong had come to the White House bearing an invitation. But he opened with flattery, which diplomats have discovered is a key to approaching the volatile American leader. “We could come this far thanks to a great degree to President Trump,” Mr. Chung said. “We highly appreciate this fact.” 
Then he got to the point: The United States, South Korea and their allies should not repeat their “past mistakes,” but South Korea believed that North Korea’s mercurial leader, Kim Jong-un, was “frank and sincere” when he said he wanted to talk with the Americans about giving up his nuclear program. Mr. Kim, he added, had told the South Koreans that if Mr. Trump would join him in an unprecedented summit meeting, the two could produce a historic breakthrough. 
Mr. Trump accepted on the spot, stunning not only Mr. Chung and the other high-level South Koreans who were with him, but also the phalanx of American officials who were gathered in the Oval Office. 
His advisers had assumed the president would take more time to discuss such a decision with them first. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, the president’s national security adviser, both expressed caution. If you go ahead with this, they told Mr. Trump, there will be risks and downsides. 
Mr. Trump brushed them off. I get it, I get it, he said.
Where others see flashing yellow lights and slow down, Mr. Trump speeds up. And just like that, in the course of 45 minutes in the Oval Office, Mr. Trump threw aside caution and dispensed with decades of convention to embark on a daring, high-wire diplomatic gambit aimed at resolving one of the world’s most intractable standoffs.
The story of how this came about, assembled through interviews with officials and analysts from the United States, South Korea, Japan and China, is a case study in international relations in the Trump era. 
A president with no prior foreign policy experience takes on a festering conflict that has vexed the world for years with a blend of impulse and improvisation, and with no certain outcome. One moment, he is hurling playground insults and threatening nuclear war, the next he is offering the validation of a presidential meeting. 
Whether the high-stakes gamble ultimately pays off, no one can know. Given two unpredictable and highly combustible leaders, it seems just as likely that the meeting will never take place. If it does occur, the challenges are so steep, the gulf so wide and the history so fraught with misunderstanding, suspicion and broken promises that the prospect of an enduring resolution to the impasse seems remote. 
But Mr. Trump has staked his reputation as a deal maker on the presumption that he can personally achieve what no other president has before him.
His "reputation" is bullshit hype that nobody really believes. I'd guess that Kim has probably done his homework on that too So why anyone would write something that implies he is actually a great deal maker" at this point is beyond me. Nonetheless, I recommend reading the whole piece because it shows just what a shambolic operation the White House really is and how close we could come to a major, very very dangerous, mistake at some point.

Trump is feeling pressure from the Russian investigation and he's lost many of his internal allies in the White House. He's also discovered that if he just decides to do something there's not much anyone can do about it. He's the president and he has tremendous power.

This is becoming more and more real: