President Donald Trump is expected this morning to order flags to be lowered in honor of Capital Gazette staffers murdered last week. The decision would come one day after the mayor of Annapolis, Maryland, announced that Trump’s White House nixed his ask to so honor the five members of the newspaper killed last week.
On Monday, the Gazette interviewed Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley who said he was upset that Trump denied the request, wondering “is there a cutoff for tragedy?”
“This was an attack on the press. It was an attack on freedom of speech,” Buckley observed, answering his own question as to why the Trump turn-down.
“It’s just as important as any other tragedy.”
This morning, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders pitched a different storyline, saying the reversal comes after Trump learned of the mayor’s request.
Flags at the White House, and other public and military buildings will be lowered until sunset today. Five people were killed by a gunman last Thursday. In Maryland, all flags already had been lowered for the week to honor the victims, by order of Governor Larry Hogan.
News of the 180 came a couple hours after Trump’s tweet blasting the “Fake News” reports that, despite his handshakes, North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un is expanding a key missile-manufacturing plant in North Korea. Those “Fake News” outlets include the Wall Street Journal which cited researchers who have examined new satellite imagery of the site of expansion.
“Many good conversations with North Korea-it is going well!” Trump tweeted this morning. “In the meantime, no Rocket Launches or Nuclear Testing in 8 months. All of Asia is thrilled. Only the Opposition Party, which includes the Fake News, is complaining. If not for me, we would now be at War with North Korea!”
That tweet continues Trump’s messaging to Maria Bartiromo on Monday in a Fox News interview touting his relationship with Kim.
“I think they’re very serious about it,” Trump insisted, when asked if his administration should be insisting North Korea say exactly where its facilities are located to demonstrate its seriousness to denuclearize. “We had a very good chemistry.”
“I made a deal with him, I shook hands with him. I really believe he means it. Now, is it possible––have I been in deals, have you been in things where people didn’t work out? It’s possible,” Trump said in that interview.