The Trump Administration has seemingly contradicted itself on the topic of communications between the administration and the Kim regime. President Trump appears to be downplaying Secretary Tillerson’s comment that the U.S. has been probing North Korea for talks for some while in back channels of diplomacy. This is in reference to the international standoff between the U.S. and North Korea over its nuclear program. Press Secretary Sanders said the U.S. has left the channels open discussing about returning detained Americans to the United States.

Now why would Trump say Secretary Tillerson was “misspeaking” according to one official? It seems that in order to keep up this image of a madman willing to do whatever to rid the world of a nuclear North Korea in order to scare either North Korea or China into submission, President Trump appears to be trying to downplay the machinations of diplomacy. Trump not negotiating with North Korea gives him the image of a leader sticking to principles by not negotiating with a depraved dictator. Somewhat reminiscent of a George “We don’t negotiate with terrorists” Bush style diplomacy in the early years of the War on Terror.  Whether this pays off in giving the U.S. the upper hand in negotiations has yet to be seen.