Ben Rhodes: Obama Is Rooting for Trump to Succeed on North Korea

• March 11, 2018 10:29 am


Ben Rhodes, a former White House aide under President Barack Obama, said Sunday that Obama is rooting for President Donald Trump on diplomatic efforts with North Korea.

ABC's Jonathan Karl asked Rhodes, who boasted of having a "mind meld" with Obama, what the former president's opinion was on the potential meeting between Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

"Contrary to frankly how we were treated in office, we want a diplomatic track with North Korea to succeed," Karl said. "That's in everybody's interest here. So I think the nation should be rooting for diplomacy to work with North Korea, and I think that's certainly President Obama's view."

Rhodes then mentioned concerns he has with the Trump administration. Karl again asked if Obama was supportive of Trump's attempt to talk to Kim.

"But President Obama is rooting for President Trump to succeed in this effort?" Karl asked.

"Yes and I think all Americans should be," Rhodes said before saying that Trump needs to be prepared for such a meeting and that experts must be brought into the Trump administration to assist.

Trump announced last week he had accepted an invitation from Kim to meet at undetermined time, after a year in which the two leaders exchanged public threats. Trump has previously nicknamed Kim "Rocket Man" and said North Korea would face "fire and fury" if he made good on his belligerent rhetoric to harm the United States and its allies.

The White House has stated the meeting is conditional on North Korea taking "concrete actions" and suspending its illicit missile testing.