Friday, March 1, 2019

What did Donald Trump do today?

He clapped back at the grieving family of an American victim of North Korean brutality.

Yesterday, Trump absolved North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un of any responsibility for the death of American hostage Otto Warmbier.  This morning, Warmbier's family released a terse statement:

We have been respectful during this summit process. Now we must speak out. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for the death of our son Otto. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for unimaginable cruelty and inhumanity. No excuse or lavish praise can change that.

This afternoon, Trump tweeted that he was being "misinterpreted," and blamed the Obama administration—but not Kim Jong-un—for the fatal brain injury Otto Warmbier suffered as a result of torture in a North Korean prison camp.

The Warmbiers have not yet responded to Trump's claim that they were "misinterpreting" Trump, who on Thursday also called Kim "quite a guy," and said that he was "very good friends" with Kim, and that he "trusted" Kim, and that there was "warmth" between them.

It is not the first time since taking office that Trump has said that a direct quote of him was somehow inaccurate. Last July, he said that a interview with him, where direct quotes were proved by the audio recording he knew existed, were "fake news." In January, he said that a live television broadcast of his intelligence officials testifying before Congress was "misquoting" them.

So what?

  • Presidents who get caught saying indefensible things don't just get to pretend they didn't say them.