IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Trump-Kim summit collapses, Michael Cohen & Sully's new mission: The Morning Rundown

President Donald Trump said the talks failed because Kim demanded all U.S. sanctions on North Korea be lifted before denuclearization.
Image: President Donald Trump speaks as Sec. of State Mike Pompeo looks on during a news conference after a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un,
"We had some options. At this time we decided not to do any of the options," President Donald Trump said as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo looks on during a news conference after nuclear talks with North Korea collapsed.Evan Vucci / AP

Good morning, NBC News readers.

"Sometimes you have to walk and I think that was one of these times."

That's what President Donald Trump said at a hastily rescheduled news conference after he abruptly broke off his nuclear summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un early Thursday.

From Hanoi to more fallout from Michael Cohen's testimony on Capitol Hill, here's what we're watching today.

North Korea nuclear summit ends without agreement

A planned working lunch and signing ceremony were suddenly cancelled as Trump and Kim’s negotiations collapsed.

The president said the sticking point that doomed the talks was Kim's demand that the U.S. lift all sanctions before denuclearization.

"Basically they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, and we couldn't do that," Trump said.

However, the president insisted that the meeting ended on "warm" and "very friendly" terms with a handshake.

And he still had words of praise for the dictator Kim, saying he took him "at his word" when Kim claimed he had nothing to do with the death of American Otto Warmbier.

News analysis: Trump lost big today, but it could've been a lot worse, NBC News' Jonathan Allen writes.

See some of the most striking images from Trump's meeting with Kim in Hanoi, Vietnam.

'I am not protecting Mr. Trump anymore'

Michael Cohen, the president's longtime fixer and personal attorney, painted a scathing portrait of his former boss during a blockbuster hearing before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday that lasted more than seven hours.

Cohen expressed remorse for his actions and past loyalty to Trump.

Democrats, who now control the committee, mostly asked Cohen questions about alleged criminal conduct by Trump while Republican members on the committee largely sought to discredit and delegitimize his testimony.

At one point Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., challenged the former lawyer's description of the president, saying: "Mr. Cohen, you called Donald Trump a cheat in your opening testimony. What would you call yourself?"

"A fool," Cohen replied.

  • Trump blasted Cohen's testimony during his press conference in Hanoi, saying it amounted to a "fake hearing." He did praise Cohen, however, for saying he had no direct evidence of collusion with Russia.

Can nuclear-armed India and Pakistan step back from the brink?

Longtime rivals India and Pakistan are locked in the worst crisis in years over disputed Kashmir, and the capture of an Indian fighter pilot could mean the confrontation will only get worse, former diplomats and analysts say.

What will it take to defuse the situation?


  • White House adviser Jared Kushner is still working away on what his father-in-law has called the "deal of the century": Peace in the Middle East. He's on a whirlwind overseas trip and met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan this week to push his still-unannounced Mideast plan.
  • And Kim Jong Un rolled up to the Hanoi summit in a $1.6 million Mercedes-Maybach, but he's one of the very few North Koreans with a car.

THINK about it

Robert Kraft's arrest shows how little we understand about the distinction between sex trafficking and sex work, writes Andrea Powell, the founder of a nonprofit that supports survivors of human trafficking.

Science + Tech = MACH

Ready for lift off: SpaceX will conduct the first test flight of its Crew Dragon capsule this weekend, in what could be a major milestone for the commercial spaceflight industry.

Quote of the day

"This behavior is churlish, it denigrates the office of the president and it's un-American and it's not you."

— Michael Cohen speaking directly to the president during his closing statement.

One inspiring thing

President George H.W. Bush's trusty companion, the service dog Sully, is taking on a new mission. He will soon be paired with wounded veterans at Walter Reed Medical Center.

Thanks for reading the Morning Rundown.

If you have any comments — likes, dislikes — drop me an email at:

If you would like to receive the Morning Rundown in your inbox Monday to Friday, please sign-up here.Thanks, Petra