"I'm being persecuted in a witch hunt." Why last week might be the beginning of the end for Trump.

It’s been one hell of a week for Donald Trump.

From failed talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to the stunning revelations shared by his former lawyer Michael Cohen in a seven-hour long testimony, it seems last week may be the beginning of the end for the US President.

For weeks before Trump met with Kim Jong Un for denuclearisation talks, he vehemently talked up the summit.

Listen to The Quicky, Mamamia’s daily news podcast. Post continues after audio. 

It was tipped by Trump to be a great success – for the United States and for the world in turn.

In the end, however, the US President failed to settle the landmark nuclear deal in Hanoi with the two leaders going their separate ways with nothing settled.

Trump blamed the failed deal on his former lawyer Michael Cohen’s explosive testimony, which unfolded as the President travelled to Vietnam.

He also claimed that the two nations were simply unable to crack a deal both parties were content with without getting rid of all the sanctions on North Korea.

According to Chas Licciardello, host of ABC’s Planet America, however, the negotiations between America and North Korea may have been a very different story to the story Trump told.

Speaking on Mamamia’s daily news podcast The Quicky, Licciardello explained that members of the foreign affairs department in America have virtually contradicted Trump’s statement off the record.


Trump’s failed talks with Kim Jong Un.

“[They] have basically contradicted him off the record and said that Kim Jong Un was telling the truth, they’ve basically said that he is right, not Trump,”Licciardello said.

“There are a whole stack of sanctions on North Korea, and North Korea apparently only asked for the sanctions to be removed that were imposed after 2016. But those sanctions, are most of the sanctions,” he explained.

“They’re the really hardcore sanctions and they’re really hurting North Korea. Kim Jong Un is probably telling the truth, that there were only some sanctions asked for removal but those are the sanctions that really count.”

In the interview, Licciardello also explained the point behind Trump’s controversial decision to meet with the North Korean leader once again.

“I think in round one he got exactly what he wanted. He was acting as if he deserved the Nobel Peace Prize because he got so much credit out of it, he got lots of people saying ‘wow, he’s quite the statesman’,” Licciardello explained.

“People in the foreign affairs establishment were saying ‘this isn’t a real agreement, there’s all kinds of devils in the details here that hasn’t been addressed’. There’s people throwing around the term ‘denuclearisation’ when it means different things to different people,” he added.

Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un meet in Hanoi. Image: Getty.

"To America, denuclearisation means no nuclear weapons or nuclear arms whatsoever from North Korea's side, whereas to North Korea denuclearisation means no nuclear weapons or nuclear arms from anyone, including America... They were proceeding on a misunderstanding, but Trump still got a lot of credit so why not go for round two?


"Round one gave them lots of PR victory, but no real victory, and I think Trump thought he could build on that initial PR victory to get the real victory this time round, but as it turns out he was wrong."

Although round two wasn't as successful as round one of the summit, Licciardello doesn't think this will stop Trump from returning to meet with Kim Jong Un once again.

"I wouldn't be surprised if they go for round three eventually because I think Trump likes these kinds of summits. Trump likes the occasion, he likes to play president which is good news for him because he's president... I think he would like to have another summit but I don't think he'd like it to blow up in his face again," he said.

"We should always be thankful that any diplomacy involving North Korea and Donald Trump does not kick off a war. That is definitely the number one aim of any diplomacy on this issue."

"If things turn extremely negative with Kim Jong Un we've got a problem. That's when we start worrying about wars, so the fact that they're still extremely positive – I don't think people should be criticising that, I think people should be thankful for that."

Michael Cohen's explosive testimony.

trump cohen
Michael Cohen testifies against Donald Trump. Image: Getty.

While Trump was in Vietnam trying to score a deal with Kim Jong Un, his former lawyer Michael Cohen was delivering a very telling testimony in congress.

In the seven hour long testimony, Cohen confirmed that the President had paid hush money to cover up his affair with porn star Stormy Daniels.


He also alleged that Trump was aware about the WikiLeaks release of hacked Democrat email before it happened during the 2016 Presidential race.

"Mr Trump is a racist," Cohen said in his opening statement.

"The country has seen Mr Trump court white supremacists and bigots. You have heard him call poorer countries 'sh*tholes'. In private, he is even worse," he continued.

"The sad fact is that I never heard Trump say anything in private that led me to believe he loved our nation or wanted to make it better."

Amelia Lester, journalist and host of Mamamia podcast Tell Me It's Going To Be Okay spoke to The Quicky about why Cohen is sharing the explosive claims now.

"He has nothing left to lose," Amelia explained.

"He has been charged by the southern district of New York and he is going to prison, we know that. But secondly he appeared before the House oversight committee last week because he said that he's had a kind of 'moral reckoning' with himself," she continued.

"He said that he just didn't want to keep lying for Donald Trump anymore and that he feared for the country. He said 'Given my experience working for Mr Trump, I fear if he loses the election in 2020 there will never be a peaceful transition of power and this is why I appear before you today'."


This doesn't necessarily mean that Trump will fight if voted out, however.

But there's no denying that his supporters will fight for him.

"One interesting thing we learned in Cohen's testimony... [is] how Trump works and how his systematic intimidation and threats towards people work," Amelia said.

"They don't work by Trump directly asking someone to do something, they work because Trump sets up a system in which the people who support him understand what is expected of them without Trump spelling it out. As Cohen said at one point, 'Everyday most of us going into the Trump administration were coming in and knowing we were going to lie for him on something'.

"What we learned from Cohen is that it's not that Trump is going to call up the Russians, it's that people who support Trump and people who regard themselves as loyal to Trump will understand what it is that they have to do, which is create havoc basically."

Perhaps the most shocking claim of all to come out of Cohen's testimony related to the Vietnam War.

In the testimony, Cohen alleged that Trump was a Vietnam draft dodger who lied about an illness to avoid serving in the war.

"Trump has said that the reason why he didn't go to Vietnam was because he had 'bone spurs' in his feet. It turns out, he didn't have bone spurs in his feet and that was one of the particularly powerful moments of the testimony when Cohen looked directly at the camera, presumably addressing Trump, and he said that he finds it ironic that Trump is in Vietnam right now – because of course Trump was in Vietnam last week to meet with Kim Jong Un," Amelia said.

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