As most familiar with his terrible negotiating skills expected, President Trump’s much-hyped summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un in Vietnam this week ended in embarrassing fashion for the United States. No deal was struck, and Trump ended up boosting Kim Jong-un’s international standing by putting him on an equal pedestal with the United States, something he is sure to exploit for propaganda back in his brutal hermit kingdom.
On top of that Trump sparked bipartisan outrage when he addressed the tragic death of Otto Warmbier, an American who was captured by the North Koreans and died shortly after his release in 2017. The president betrayed Warmbier’s memory by saying that while he accepts that “something very bad happened to him” he doesn’t believe the “top leadership knew about it,” whitewashing Kim Jong-un’s role in Warmbier’s imprisonment and subsequent passing.
Trump added that Kim Jong-un — the brutal totalitarian who in the past has had his own government officials torn apart by anti-aircraft guns — claims to feel “very badly” about Warmbier’s treatment and insists he didn’t know about it. Stunningly, Trump says he is taking the murderous dictator at his word. Either the president is being incredibly naive, or he simply doesn’t care about Warmbier’s death and has decided he’d rather ingratiate himself with Kim than stand up for a dead American.
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President Trump on Otto Warmbier: "I really believe something very bad happened to him, and I don't think that the top leadership knew about it…(Kim Jong-Un) felt very badly about it…He tells me that he didn't know about it, and I will take him at his word." pic.twitter.com/EWnw7BzVNe
— Axios (@axios) February 28, 2019
Now, Warmbier’s parents have addressed the debacle and are obviously deeply upset by the president’s actions. NBC News released the statement put out by Fred and Cindy Warmbier. The parents start by pointing out that they have maintained their silence and been respectful during the summit, but now feel compelled to speak out.
Rightfully, they blame Kim Jong-un and his “evil regime” for the death of their son and condemn the North Korean totalitarians for their “unimaginable cruelty and inhumanity,” an apt description for a government that starves, murders, and brainwashes its own people.
“No excuses or lavish praises can change that,” the statement ends. The last bit can only be interpreted as a jab at Trump, who has been constantly flattering and complimenting Kim Jong-un not just at the summit, but for months.
The president has cozied up to a murderous dictator, and in the process betrayed the American people. The Warmbiers deserve our deepest sympathies, as their wounds have now been deepened by the man whose sworn job is to protect us all.
It’s another utterly shameful performance by our president.
BREAKING: Parents of Otto Warmbier speak out after President Trump's comments on Kim Jong Un and responsibility for Warmbier's death:
— NBC News (@NBCNews) March 1, 2019