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United States President Donald Trump delivered the now infamous ‘fire and fury’ speech on Tuesday with what appeared to be a single page of talking points set before him on the conference table at his New Jersey golf resort.

The piece of paper, as it turned out, was a fact sheet on the opioid crisis he had come to talk about, and his ominous warning to Pyongyang was entirely improvised. 

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In discussions with advisers beforehand, he had not run the specific language by them, though he had talked over possible responses in a general way.

The inflammatory words escalated the confrontation with North Korea to a new, alarming level and were followed shortly by a new threat from North Korea to obliterate an American air base on Guam.