Jack Crowe on September 20, 2017
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton criticized President Donald Trump’s Tuesday address to the U.N. General Assembly and provided a brief summary of what she would have said on CBS’ “The Late Show” Tuesday night.
Clinton made the appearance to plug her recently released campaign memoir “What Happened,” but was quick to offer Trump a few words of advice on diplomacy.
“I thought it was very dark, dangerous, not the kind of message that the leader of the greatest nation in the world should be delivering,” Clinton told Stephen Colbert. “You are both required to stand up for the values of what we believe in — democracy and opportunity, as a way to demonstrate clearly the United States remains the beacon that we want it to be.”
Clinton then launched into an impromptu mock U.N. address, pausing briefly to deride Trump’s mocking reference to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un as “Rocket Man” in a Sunday tweet.
“What I hoped the president would have said was something along the lines of ‘We view this as dangerous to our allies, to the region, and even to our country. We call on all nations to work with us to try to end the threat posed by Kim Jong-un.’ And not call him ‘Rocket Man,’ the old Elton John song, but to say it clearly, ‘We will not tolerate any attacks on our friends or ourselves,’ but you should lead with diplomacy. You should lead with the commitment to try to avoid conflict however you can.”
Trump’s combative address broke with U.N. norms, explicitly threatening North Korea with total destruction in response to escalating nuclear posturing.
The speech emphasized respect for national sovereignty as fundamental to the accomplishment of the body’s goals. He focused his praise on the founding mission of the U.N. rather than the contemporary performance of the organization.
Trump’s praise for the founding ideals of the U.N., democracy and peace promotion, represent a marked departure from his campaign characterization of the organization as “not a friend of democracy” and “not a friend to freedom.”