On Tuesday morning, President Donald Trump signal-boosted to his 35 million followers a FoxNews.com story quoting anonymous "U.S. officials" saying North Korea was spotted loading anti-ship cruise missiles onto a patrol boat.
The latest moves by Pyongyang point to a likely missile test in the days ahead or it could be a defense measure should the U.S. Navy dispatch more warships to the Korean peninsula, officials said.
Criticizing the practice of anonymous sourcing, then sharing a story that cites anonymous sources soon after, has become something of a monthly pattern for the president. Last week Trump's attorney general, Jeff Sessions, vowed to crack down on insiders who reveal information to the media, arguing that such leaks could harm national security. The fact is the Fake News Russian collusion story, record stock market, border security, military strength, jobs, Supreme Court pick, economic enthusiasm, deregulation [and] so much more have driven the Trump base even closer together.
It is disturbing enough that Trump appears to be giving more weight to a Fox News report than his own intelligence briefings. What's more, Trump's threat reframes, if not reverts, the nuclear dispute from an worldwide issue to a bilateral, even personal, spat between the us and North Korea and two erratic leaders.
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This is mind-numbingly stupid.
The Trump administration calls it the toughest sanctions on any country in a generation. Cruise missiles are different than the long-range missiles, known as ICBMs, that have been central to the escalating tensions.
Further, 62% overall say that Trump's statements and actions since taking office have made them less confident in his ability to be president. An intentional release of information by a person authorized to release it is not a leak. And, earlier this year, China announced that it would stop importing North Korean coal. "They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen".
The UN sanctions aim to slash North Korea's annual export revenue by a third.