‘I Will Take Him at His Word’: Trump Says Kim Jong Un Isn’t to Blame for Otto Warmbier’s Death

Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump
Kevin Lim/The Strait Times/Handout/Getty Images

President Donald Trump defended North Korean Leader Kim Jon Un to reporters Thursday, insisting he believed the dictator had nothing to do with the death of Otto Warmbier, an American student who was held captive in North Korea and died upon release two years ago.

“I really don’t think it was in his interest at all,” Trump said at the press conference in Vietnam, adding that he doesn’t think “top leadership” was involved in the suspected torture and death of Warmbier.

Warmbier was captured and detained by North Korean officials while on a trip to the country in late 2015. The regime accused him of being an American spy and held him for 17 months. He was returned back to the United States in a coma and died days later in his hometown of Cinncinatti, Ohio.

Otto Warmbier
PYONGYANG, March 16, 2016– American student Otto Frederick Warmbier, center, arrives at a court for his trial in Pyongyang, capital of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, on March 16, 2015. American student Otto Frederick Warmbier, held by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for anti-DPRK crimes, the Supreme Court of the DPRK announced Wednesday. (Xinhua/Lu Rui via Getty Images)

“It just wasn’t to his advantage to allow that to happen,” Trump said of Kim. “Those prisons are rough, they’re rough places and bad things happened but I really don’t believe … he knew about it.”

“He felt badly about it,” Trump added. “Some really bad things happened to Otto, some really really bad things but he tells me he didn’t know about it and I will take him at his word.”

Watch the video below:

As the Washington Post noted, Trump’s willingness to believe the dictator of an adversary country is not a new phenomenon. Trump said he believed Russian President Vladamir Putin when he told him his government did not interfere in the 2016 election, despite U.S. intelligence concluding otherwise.

“I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today,” Trump said at a Helsinki conference with the Russian president in July.

More recently, Trump dismissed the U.S. intelligence reports in the case of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi that suggested Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was behind the assassination.

What do you think?

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Rocky Drummond
Member

President Bonespurs is such a coward.

Phyllis Softa
Member

THAT Trump believes Kim, Putin, Erdogan, el Sisi, and MBS’s denials, explains why Trump believed Roy Moore, Kavanaugh, Hunter and Collins denials. But why he believes the dictators is still in question. Bad BS detector?

Rocky Drummond
Member

Projection.

He knows that he is weak, so he must think that cuddling up to real strongmen helps him project an aura of strength, too.

James
Member

Since you don’t name names; I assume you mean Kim is weak and Trump is (by every stretch of the imagination) the strong man. Only a coward would bow and back down to the World’s pipsqueek. [Somehow that reminds me of a spineless coward named Obama.]

Rocky Drummond
Member

And you would be wrong to assume that, of course.

James
Member

Thank you for clarifying that. Show my vote as another thumbs down for your anti-America, pro-North Korea comment.

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