Call it Trump’s List.
But first off, let’s note the caveat that so far there’s no confirmation of Chosun Ilbo’s report saying North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un ordered the execution of his envoy to the United States, after failure of Kim’s Hanoi summit with Donald Trump in February.
The conservative South Korean newspaper, citing an anonymous source, said Kim Hyok Chol and four other foreign-affairs officials died in March by firing squad at Pyongyang’s Mirim Airfield, while other officials were sent off to labor camp. The paper quoted an anonymous source as saying Kim Hyok Chol was accused of having been “won over by the American imperialists to betray the supreme leader.”
A knee-jerk pundit’s reaction might be: “Oh my goodness! The US president, hearing this news/rumor, must be agonizing over the question of how he can possibly continue negotiating with such a bloodthirsty monster as Kim Jong Un, not to mention being publicly in love with him.”
Want to bet? I’m guessing Trump’s first reaction has been to start imagining his own dream team of people he’ll consign to similar fates, once he finishes breaking down the checks and balances the founding fathers mistakenly allocated to other branches of government.
Robert Mueller, the departing special counsel, might be at the top of the list, but former White House counsel Donald McGahn could also rank right up there. The fact that Jeff Sessions is long gone from the attorney general’s job wouldn’t eliminate him. And Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer, wouldn’t be exempt merely on account of his lack of civil-service status.
Then there are officials who haven’t worked for him but have worked effectively against him: Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer – the list could go on and on.
Saying “You’re fired!” on The Apprentice for all those years was fun, but think how much more fun it will be to say, “Off to the mines!” or, even better, “You’re dead! And you can thank that smart young Kim feller for the idea.”