Nothing says “vacation” like the threat of nuclear annihilation, at least according to President Trump. On a phone call with Guam Gov. Eddie Baza Calvo, they discussed the possibility that North Korea might lob a missile in the direction of the U.S. territory. But then the conversation took a strange turn when Donald Trump took the opportunity to throw shade on President Obama and assure Calvo that this standoff is actually great for Guam’s tourism economy. Meanwhile, China wants Trump to cool it with the boy hero rhetoric.
“I just wanted to pay my respects, and we are with you 1,000 percent. You are safe,” Trump reassured Calvo at the start of the call. Clavo responded with effusive praise, saying he has “never felt so safe or so confident” despite the criticism Trump is weathering. “We need a president like you, so I’m just so thankful, and I’m glad you’re holding the helm, sir.”
“They should have had me eight years ago, or at least somebody with my thought process,” Trump said, alluding to President Obama. Then the call took an odd turn. Buoyed by Calvo’s compliments, Donald Trump went into full reality TV mode:
“Eddie, I have to tell you, you’ve become extremely famous. All over the world the world, they’re talking about Guam, and they’re talking about you, and I think —tourism, I can say this, your tourism, you’re going to go up like tenfold with the expenditure of no money, so I congratulate you. … It just looks like a beautiful place.”
That’s a stark contrast in tone to the new set of emergency guidelines circulating in Guam. “Do not look at the flash or fireball – It can blind you. Take cover behind anything that might offer protection.” And forget hair styling after your decontamination shower—the guidelines even include a warning about using conditioner, as it can “bind radioactive material to your hair.”
In both Trump and Calvo’s minds, though, the main threat isn’t North Korea—it’s partisanship in Washington. “This is a time of threat to the United States. It shouldn’t be Democrats or Republicans. It should be everybody unifying behind our president,” Calvo told Trump.
But that’s not at all how China sees it. In his own phone call with Trump, Chinese president Xi Jinping asked Trump to show restraint in his dealings with North Korea and not antagonize North Korea any further. That’s not bad advice given how quickly Trump’s rhetoric has escalated this crisis. Depending on how this all turns out, it may be a while before Trump can claim credit for boosting Guam’s economy by nearly getting it blown off the map.
(Via Washington Post)