Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) called out President Donald Trump on Tuesday for handing Kim Jong Un “one of our most significant bargaining chips” while getting nothing in return during the pair's recent summit.
“It shows what a weak negotiator the president is and how unlikely we are to ultimately get an agreement that's good for us,” Murphy told IJR “They made no concessions, we made an enormous concession — so much for the art of the deal.”
Murphy said that while he supports meeting with Kim, ultimately the Connecticut senator argued that the Trump administration went into the Singapore summit underprepared and ended up getting out-negotiated by the rogue nation.
Following a one-on-one meeting, both Trump and Kim signed an agreement that included a denuclearization recommitment from North Korea. However, critics, like Sen. Murphy, have been quick to point out that no long-term verification process was included in the agreement.
The president also revealed that he agreed to halt military exercises with South Korea, a move Murphy tells IJR makes this deal a “dream come true” for the North Korean leader.
“I would have expected that in giving up a major concession like the cessation of military exercises we would have at least gotten an agreement to start the cataloging of nuclear weapons and sites inside North Korea,” he said. “Kim's commitment on disarmament is weaker than previous commitments and now Beijing and Pyongyang are cheering the cessation of military exercises.”
“This is a dream come true for Kim,” the Democratic senator added, claiming that the summit “exposed” the president “as a pretty weak negotiator.”
The senator's comments echo other Democrats voicing concern on Tuesday regarding Trump's negotiation tactics on display during the North Korean summit.
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) said in a statement that the U.S.'s maximum pressure campaign against North Korea is “wasted when we settle for minimal results,” calling Trump's promise to suspend joint military exercises with South Korea “disappointing and offensive to our Armed Forces and our allies in the region.”
And while Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) appeared more supportive of the president's initial deal with North Korea, he also warned Trump against following through with his goal of withdrawing U.S. military forces from the Korean Peninsula.
“I don’t think canceling a war game is going to matter over the arc of time,” Graham said on Tuesday. “The one thing that I would violently disagree with is removing our troops.”