As the United States careens from one crisis to the next under President Donald Trump, some things may get missed: Such as the fact that Ohio’s junior U.S. Sen. Rob Portman encouraged Trump to follow up his violent rhetoric against North Korea last week with action.
From the Washington Times, reporting on a Portman appearance on CNN:
“I think the right approach is to be strong and that will have a deterrent effect, I believe. That’s certainly what all of us hope for,” Mr. Portman, Ohio Republican, said on CNN.
But Mr. Portman said those words need to be backed up with action if the situation requires it, something he said was a failure of the Obama administration.
“I think we do need to honor our ‘red lines’ and, as you know, in the last administration, we failed to do that on occasion and that had a tremendous effect not just on our enemies but on our allies,” he said.
Mr. Portman did say the retaliation by the U.S. would not be a full-scale war, but would be, as President Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson described, “swift” and “forceful.”
So here’s the thing, Portman, almost immediately after Trump drew his line, North Korea crossed it. So where does that leave you and President Trump now?
Let’s look at the timeline, from Politico:
July 28, 2017
North Korea tests a ballistic missile experts say could reach the continental United States.
Aug. 5, 2017
The United Nations Security Council unanimously passes sanctions on North Korean exports in response to its missile tests.
Aug. 8, 2017
Trump promises “Fire and Fury” will meet North Korean threats.
“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”
Aug. 10, 2017
General Kim Rak Gyom, head of North Korea’s strategic missile forces, outlined a plan to fire missiles into the waters around Guam and derided President Trump. “Sound dialogue is not possible with such a guy bereft of reason and only absolute force can work on him.”
So literally two days after President Trump said North Korea “best not make any more threats to the United States” or they will be “met with fire and fury like the world has never seen,” North Korea threatened the United States and insulted Trump.