Trump breathes new life into North Korea summit

Posted at 4:17 PM, May 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-25 18:17:31-04

On his way to give the commencement address Friday at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., President Trump said the summit with North Korea "could even be the 12th," after canceling the summit the day before. Mr. Trump is giving the U.S. Naval Academy’s commencement speech in Annapolis, Md., Friday morning. 

"We’ll see what happens," Mr. Trump said. "It could even be the 12th. We’re talking to them now. They very much want to do it.  We’d like to do it. We’re gonna see what happens."

Asked if North Korea is playing games — the North Koreans failed to meet an advance team from the U.S. in Singapore, and weren’t picking up the phone recently — Mr. Trump said "everyone plays games."

However, there’s no indication behind the scenes that the June 12 date is really in play. Before the president canceled the summit, White House officials were to travel to Singapore this weekend to plan and review the logistics for the summit. They had traveled last weekend to Singapore and were stood up by the North Koreans. On Friday, after the president’s comment that the summit might still take place as scheduled, the White House said there are no plans right now for a U.S. team to try again this weekend to meet with the North Korean in Singapore.

The president made a somewhat surprising statement when he said he isn’t familiar with the latest charges against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein was charged with rape and sex abuse Friday morning, and television networks all over the country showed his surrender. Allegations against Weinstein have fueled the #MeToo movement for months. 

"I don’t know anything about it," Mr. Trump said, adding later, pressed by another reporter, "I’m not familiar with the case, but it’s really too bad."

The president also said First Lady Melania Trump is doing well, after spending most of last week in the hospital after a kidney procedure.

The president began his commencement address by praising the graduates’ diligence and patriotism, in a speech that seemed to largely stick to the script. But he also took time to hint that America has become stronger than ever during his presidency, and the country isn’t apologizing for its behavior any longer.

"In every generation, there have been cynics and critics who try to tear down America. It’s not working too well lately. But in recent years, the problem grew worse. A growing number use their platforms to denigrate America’s incredible heritage, challenge America’s sovereignty, and weaken America’s pride. But we know the truth, we will speak the truth, and we will defend that truth."

"And in case you haven’t noticed, we have become a lot stronger lately, the president said — a lot," he added. "We are not going to apologize for America, we are going to stand up for America. No more apologies."

The president said he would stay to shake the hands of all roughly 1,100 graduates Friday.