President Donald Trump stunned his own administration’s officials last week when he sent out a tweet announcing that he was reversing his own administration’s policies on new North Korea sanctions.
When asked about Trump’s decision to change his own administration’s policies, the White House simply replied that “President Trump likes” North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “and he doesn’t think these sanctions will be necessary.”
Bloomberg is now reporting that administration officials spent hours scrambling to concoct a “cover story” that would allow them to keep the just-announced sanctions in place while letting the president save face on his tweet about rolling them back.
“Later Friday, in the wake of Trump’s tweet, the administration sought to explain away the move with a statement — initially requesting no attribution to anyone — that said the sanctions against the Chinese companies hadn’t been reversed but the U.S. wouldn’t pursue additional sanctions against North Korea,” Bloomberg reports.
In reality, however, “there were no additional North Korea sanctions in the works at the time,” according to the publication’s sources.
The officials also had to convince Trump to back off his initial sanctions demand and pretend that he was talking about a separate set of sanctions that didn’t exist, the report claims.