Former Obama administration official Steve Rattner compared President Donald Trump to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un on Friday, saying he was "our own madman" who could "blow up the world."
The White House announced Thursday Trump had accepted a meeting with Kim at an undetermined time to discuss the rogue regime's nuclear weapons program, which the U.S. has demanded for decades must end.
If it takes place, it would mark the first time a sitting U.S. president had met face-to-face with the leader of North Korea. The White House has said all sanctions and pressure will remain in the meantime.
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.@POTUS greatly appreciates the nice words of the S. Korean delegation & Pres Moon. He will accept the invitation to meet w/ Kim Jong Un at a place & time to be determined. We look forward to the denuclearization of NK. In the meantime all sanctions & maximum pressure must remain
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) March 9, 2018
Rattner, appearing on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," said the sanctions regime against North Korea appeared to be working in putting pressure Kim, and he drew on his experience in negotiating as an investment banker in saying it helped to have someone perceived as a loose cannon as a leader.
"It was sometimes helpful to have a client saying, ‘If you don't do what I say, I'm going to blow up the world,'" he said. "That's kind of what we have here. We have our own madman who could potentially blow up the world."
"You're talking about Trump?" host Joe Scarborough asked.
"Yeah, I was thinking about Trump when I said that," Rattner said. "And so it could have an impact on the North Koreans. They're saying, ‘Hey, we don't know what this guy's going to do. Let's at least see if we can get something done with him.'"
The meeting announcement comes following a year of traded insults and threats between the U.S. and North Korea under the two leaders. Trump memorably nicknamed Kim "Rocket Man" and said he would face "fire and fury" if he made good on his belligerent rhetoric about destroying the United States.
The planned summit has been met with a mixed reaction, with some praising it as a diplomatic breakthrough and others saying it has given Kim a much-desired meeting and legitimacy in exchange for nothing.