Amid backlash following President Donald Trump’s comments on North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un’s involvement in the death of U.S. citizen Otto Warmbier, Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway made it clear that the president “holds North Korea responsible.”
“The president agrees with the Warmbier family and holds North Korea responsible for Otto Warmbier’s death. He has said that time and again,” she said on Fox News Friday. “This president is responsible for having Otto Warmbier returned to this country and be reunited with his family in his final hours before he passed.”
Conway then went on to clarify the president’s remarks:
“He has deep affection and shares the grief of the Warmbier family. That will never end as will not the president agreeing that North Korea is responsible. But what the president is saying is, there’s no indication Chairman Kim knew what happened to Otto Warmbier when it happened. It was after he was returned here to the United States that we all learned of his very bad and unforgivable state.”
Watch her interview below:
White House seems to be doubling down on President Trump's comments re: Otto Warmbier/Kim Jong Un…
Kelly Anne Conway: "What the President is saying is that there is no indication Chairman Kim knew what happened to Otto Warmbier when it happened." pic.twitter.com/rRiPiL1lm3
— Ellison Barber (@ellisonbarber) March 1, 2019
Conway’s comments come after President Trump said he would take Kim Jong Un’s “word” that he had nothing to do with Warmbier’s death, as IJR Blue reported. His remarks were not well received, with even many Republicans distancing themselves from his words, as IJR Red noted.
Watch the president’s comments below:
Here's the video of Trump defending Kim Jong Un on the case of Otto Warmbier, the American student who died last year after being imprisoned in North Korea.
"He tells me that he didn't know about it, and I will take him at his word." Via ABC pic.twitter.com/Gcz6RtD8Li
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 28, 2019
The counselor to the president’s clarification also comes as Warmbier’s parents fired back at President Trump in a statement released on Friday.
“We have been respectful during the summit process. Now we must speak out,” they said, as IJR Blue also reported. “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 excuses or lavish praise can change that.”