As the world anxiously awaits the highly anticipated summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in Singapore next week, White House National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have been working closely together in preparation for the big meeting.
According to State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert, Pompeo and Bolton had breakfast Thursday morning in Washington D.C. and briefed President Trump together yesterday at the White House.
“We have been working very closely with the NSC in advance of the summit, in particular with Ambassador Bolton’s office. That’s something we would typically do because to pull together a summit of this nature between two principles, the president and also Chairman Kim, requires a ton of work: logistical work, policy work, all of that. State Department and NSC, specifically Ambassador Bolton and State, have been working very closely together,” Nauert told Townhall.
“I think by the end of this week Ambassador Bolton and Secretary Pompeo will have had four or five meals together. They’ve spent a ton of time together. Yesterday, they briefed the President at the White House, together providing their best foreign policy advise to the president ahead of this summit,” she continued. “I know that Ambassador Bolton and Secretary Pompeo were together early this morning here in Washington where they had another meeting. They are working nonstop together to present their best foreign policy advice to the president.”
Over at the National Security Council, Bolton has been busy gathering the best intelligence from all relevant federal government agencies in preparation for the summit. He's also held a series of regular meetings with NSC staff and has regularly briefed President Trump with his best information.
“The Ambassador and Secretary Pompeo have been working hand-in-hand providing the president national security options and foreign policy advice, frankly whether it involves the summit, Syria or other issues,” Special Assistant to President Trump and NSC spokesperson Garrett Marquis said Thursday. “Whether it’s the Secretary of State, DOD or other agencies, the ambassador has made it a priority to work closely with and coordinate all of the national security agencies so that the president is the most informed and can make the best decision that’s available. Every single day the ambassador is working with all of the agencies to make sure that the president has all of the information available to make national security decisions.”
“The president’s national security team has been preparing for this summit daily. They’ve had special sessions, meetings, numerous conversations,” Marquis continued. “The president is prepared, he’s ready for the summit and his national security team traveling with him are ready for Singapore.”
Although the Singapore summit will mark President Trump’s first meeting with Kim Jong Un, Secretary Pompeo has met with him twice. Last week Pompeo engaged in a series of discussions with Chairman Un's right-hand man and North Korean spy chief Kim Yong Chol in New York City. After those meetings, Chol delivered a letter from Chairman Un to President Trump in the Oval Office on Friday.
“We’ve been doing a lot of pre-planning for the meeting,” Nauert said about the lead up to the summit. “We go into this eyes wide open, hopeful for the best coming out of this summit but again, eyes wide open. I’ll leave the rest for the president to work out because it’s the president’s meeting with Kim Jong Un. Secretary Pompeo and Ambassador Bolton will be there [in Singapore] to support the president.”
President Trump will meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the White House Thursday ahead of the G7 Summit in Montreal. He will then travel to Singapore for the summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which will be held at on Sentosa Island.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story stated Garrett Marquis is a special advisor to President Trump. That is incorrect. Marquis is a special assistant to President Trump. We regret the error.