Recently, Donald Trump became the first United States president to personally meet with a leader of North Korea, sitting down for a series of meetings with Kim Jong Un in Singapore. Products of that meeting included continued, although still unspecific commitments to Korean denuclearization, Trump pledging to halt military exercises around North Korea — and repeated rounds of praise for Kim Jong Un from Donald Trump.
The upbeat note with which Trump insists on casting the murderous dictator Kim Jong Un has now manifested itself in a new way. A series of three photos of the two world leaders together recently in Singapore have replaced photos that had been hanging on the wall in the West Wing of Trump meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.
Pictures of President Trump and Kim Jong Un in the West Wing of the White House. A few weeks ago, these frames surrounded pics of Trump with Emmanuel Macron, president of France, one of America’s closest allies. pic.twitter.com/RZja99SDnJ
— Michael C. Bender (@MichaelCBender) June 18, 2018
The French president and his wife Brigitte were hosted in the first official state visit of any foreign leader to the United States under Trump earlier this year. Macron has attempted to forge some kind of friendly relationship with Trump, but to no avail. He has undertaken gestures such as inviting Trump to Bastille Day celebrations in France last year — and on the American side, Trump has undertaken measures including the recent imposition of tariffs on imported steel and aluminum from countries including France.
Other measures in a similar vein that Trump has undertaken include the announced withdrawal of the United States from both the Paris Climate Accord and the Iran nuclear deal, although those decisions were not slights directed as squarely at France as the tariffs.
The only move among those just mentioned that had already been undertaken by the Trump administration when Macron came to the U.S. earlier this year is the Paris Climate Accord withdrawal. Both the Iran nuclear deal decision and the tariffs have been handed down in the time since — and also in the time since, at least when it comes to who gets preeminence in White House decoration considerations, the murderous leader of North Korea has assumed Macron’s position for the Trump administration.
While Trump has dismissed Macron and other leaders of allied nations like Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who he called “weak,” on a very real level beyond that of White House decoration decisions he has welcomed Kim Jong Un with open arms. The photos being switched out at a certain location in the White House is emblematic of something much larger and grim.
Check out the originally displayed photos of Macron and Trump below.
The French love is still evident in the White House.
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) May 2, 2018
Despite the fact that Kim executes a reign of terror over his people, Trump came away from his Singapore summit touting a “special bond” he had formed with the leader, also at times praising him for his supposedly exemplary leadership ability and calling him smart and even “funny.” A murderous foreign leader is not exactly someone you’d hope a U.S. president would call smart and funny, and yet, Kim isn’t even the first dictator Trump has sucked up to. His strange affection for Russian President Vladimir Putin is well known, and he’s been welcoming to others too, like Rodrigo Duterte, of the Philippines.
Featured Image via Kevin Lim/THE STRAITS TIMES/Handout/Getty Images