Dem Senate Candidate Thinks North Korea Summit Was About Expanding Trade Partners

Jane Raybould / Twitter screenshot
• June 13, 2018 2:47 pm


Sen. Deb Fischer's (R., Neb.) Democratic opponent Jane Raybould was not prepared on Tuesday for a question from a local news station about President Donald Trump's historic summit in Singapore with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un earlier in the week.

Trump became the first U.S. president to shake hands and meet face-to-face with a North Korean head of state during the summit that took place throughout the morning and afternoon, local time, on Tuesday. The Trump administration has been pushing for full denuclearization while promising security and prosperity in return. The joint statement they signed gave few details on how the United States and North Korea will move forward with denuclearization of the peninsula.

Instead of talking about denuclearization and the positive impact it could have on a potential peaceful relationship with North Korea, Raybould responded to NTV's question as if the summit was about expanding trade partners.

"As a grocer, I know business depends on customers and America needs more trading partners, not fewer. I commend President Trump for reaching out to open new markets while working to make the world safer. But, we also can't afford to isolate our current allies, where our farmers hold key relationships with buyers oversees."

Fischer's spokesperson Chanse Jones told NTV that the senator "shares President Trump’s goal of complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and believes this was an important first step."

"She is waiting to see what comes next in the subsequent negotiations, particularly in regard to verification," Jones added.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) slammed Raybould's response, saying it was "beyond troubling" that she thought Trump's summit was aimed at opening trade relations.

"It’s beyond troubling that Jane Raybould thinks President Trump’s North Korean summit was aimed at her grocery store," said NRSC Spokeswoman Caitlin Gallagher. "Why in the world would Nebraskans trust Raybould in the Senate when she doesn’t even understand the great importance of denuclearizing the region?"

This is not the first time Raybould has struggled to answer an important policy question. Back in April, she dodged a question eight times on whether she would have supported the historic Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was signed into law at the end of 2017.