Previous reporting tells us that Trump primarily wanted to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for personal and political reasons. Trump wanted to create a spectacle and put on a show even if it did not lead to any meaningful policy.
According to officials who spoke to NBC News, Trump's desire to create a spectacle is also the reason he decided to suddenly cancel the meeting yesterday morning with virtually no advance notice to anyone including North or South Korea.
It had been less than 12 hours since Trump and his team began grappling intensely with the prospects for shelving what would have been a historic meeting between the two heads of state.
But the president, fearing that the North Koreans might beat him to the punch, wanted to be the one to cancel first, multiple officials told NBC News.
You're not breaking up with me, I'm breaking up with you!
CNN reports that reality hit home at some point on Wednesday when the White House finally concluded something that everyone else has known all along; that Kim is not giving up his nuclear weapons.
At the heart of the diplomatic collapse, according to more than a dozen administration officials and others familiar with the matter, was Trump's own thirst for a legacy-making breakthrough -- one he came to believe could even secure him a Nobel Prize.
A self-declared dealmaker in chief, Trump remained squarely focused on the summit's spectacle, even as he avoided in-depth briefings about North Korea's nuclear program, the officials said.
Ultimately, a barrage of harsh statements from the North and questions about Pyongyang's commitment to denuclearization threw into sharp relief Trump's vague objectives for his encounter with Kim, and the risk of moving forward.
Will all of this said, the White House is vaguely signaling this morning that the meeting with Kim Jong Un may still happen in a few weeks.
Everyone know it's not going to lead to any meaningful changes or nuclear disarmament, but Trump is so obsessed with putting on a show he's still trying to make it happen even after personally canceling it.
Trump is a 70-year-old man who with more emotional needs than a teenager.