Schumer Praises Hostage Release...But Sends Trump This Warning Ahead of Summit

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Posted: May 10, 2018 2:00 PM
Schumer Praises Hostage Release...But Sends Trump This Warning Ahead of Summit

Even something as remarkable as the release of three American prisoners can't convince top Democrats to give President Trump unfiltered praise.

Schumer said he was "delighted" the three men had returned home after their imprisonment, but he added some qualifiers.

The hostages "shouldn't be part of" the talks with North Korea, the Senate Minority Leader warned on the Senate floor Thursday. "We are happy they have returned but North Korea shouldn't gain by taking Americans and then releasing them."

"We cannot forget: No regime has the right to hold American citizens in captivity without cause, and under no circumstances should American citizens be viewed as bargaining chips."

Former Obama State Department spokesman John Kirby had similarly muted praise on the hostage release. 

"This is great news and I don’t mean to diminish it," Kirby explained on CNN. But, "it doesn't mean he's won over North Korea."

Kim Jong Un has simply demonstrated he's serious about sitting down with Trump. 

"It doesn’t guarantee anything beyond that," Kirby said.

The media, too, has yet to give Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo complete kudos for pulling off this diplomatic feat. Under the impression Pompeo was only flying to North Korea to make preparations for the Trump-Kim Jong Un summit, The New York Times printed a piece about the secretary of state being AWOL during another important foreign policy announcement - Trump's decision to pull out of the Iran Deal. We know now that Pompeo's unannounced flight had some unique significance. He was heading to North Korea to bring Americans safely home. The editors have yet to issue a clarification.

The summit between Trump and the North Korean leader is scheduled for June and will take place in Singapore.

Schumer, it turns out, was already on Trump's radar Thursday for his 360 turnaround on the Iran Deal.