He’s such a kidder

So, that’s eccentric.

President Trump undercut his own Treasury Department on Friday with a sudden announcement that he had rolled back newly imposed sanctions on North Korea, appearing to overrule national security experts as a favor to Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader.

The move, announced on Twitter, was a remarkable display of dissension in the Trump administration and was a striking case of a White House intervening to reverse a major national security decision made only hours earlier by the president’s own officials.

He really did.

The Treasury Department announced new sanctions on Friday against Iran and Venezuela, but not against North Korea.

However, economic penalties were imposed on Thursday on two Chinese shipping companies suspected of helping North Korea evade international sanctions. Those penalties, announced with news releases and a White House briefing, were the first imposed against North Korea since late last year and came less than a month after a summit meeting between Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim collapsed in Hanoi, Vietnam, without a deal.

Yebbut Trump doesn’t want to hurt Kim’s feelings.

Current and former Treasury Department officials were stunned by Mr. Trump’s decision on Friday. Some said they wondered if the move was planned in advance, as a gesture to Mr. Kim. Others feared that the United States’ vaunted sanctions regime had been compromised.

“For an administration that continues to surprise, this is another first — the president of the United States undercutting his own sanctions agency for imposing sanctions on Chinese actors supporting North Korea,” said John E. Smith, the former director of the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, who left the department last year. “It’s a win for North Korea and China and a loss for U.S. credibility.”

But at least Donnie still has his buddy in North Korea. Or, you know, maybe not, but he thinks he does, and that’s what counts.

H/t Acolyte of Sagan

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