We've already pondered how the North Koreans will react to Trump's lie that the USS Carl Vinson carrier strike group was headed to Korean waters when it was actually sailing into the Indian Ocean, but what about the South Koreans?
The candidate for South Korea's ruling party, who could replace disgraced President Park Geun-hye, says South Korea may not be able to trust anything Trump says.
The curious case of Trump’s misplaced carrier prompted derision on both sides of the Pacific. U.S. critics lamented the inability of the American public to trust the president, or his administration, even on critical issues pertaining to national security. “The lesson is that even with Trump in the White House, people still tend to trust what the government says,” Pulitzer Prize-winning military expert Tom Ricks said. “But Trump is doing his best to change that.” South Korean presidential candidate Hong Joon-pyo was more blunt, telling The Wall Street Journal that “If that was a lie, then during Trump’s term, South Korea will not trust whatever Trump says.”
White House @PressSec says Trump was right to say ships were “heading” toward North Korea because it will, eventually.
— Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) April 19, 2017
It's true, the USS Carl Vinson is now headed toward the Korean peninsula, more than a week after Trump said it was headed there. The families of those serving aboard were just informed yesterday that their deployment will be extended by 30 days.
This development raises more questions for me.
Is the Carl Vinson carrier strike group being dispatched to Korean waters just to save face? Is their deployment being extended just to make good on Trump's "armada" talk? It's a fair question given that it wouldn't even be the first time the Trump regime has tried to retroactively justify or corroborate things Trump says.
One of the biggest risks of the Trump era is not just that our enemies will no longer take us seriously; it's that our allies won't either. And who could fault them if they don't? Who could possibly fault our closest allies if they conclude that Trump is a rogue moron?