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Eli Lake

Why Arms Control Won’t Work With North Korea or Iran

Trump’s critics are scoring political points about the intelligence assessment, but they might want to consider the actual policy.

Careful, Mr. President.

Careful, Mr. President.

Photographer: SAUL LOEB/AFP

Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, appeared to undermine two premises of President Donald Trump’s foreign policy on Tuesday. First he said that North Korea was not likely to give up its nuclear weapons. Then he said that Iran was still complying with the international agreement to pause its own nuclear program.

This was the instant headline for most news organizations. Yet again, Trump’s rhetoric is disconnected from the facts presented by the professionals serving in his administration. Some Democrats pounced.