The Trump administration more firmly established itself as on the side of dictators this week. Pressed at a press conference in Japan about his simultaneous criticism of former Vice President Joe Biden and praise for North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, Trump proudly asserted his commitment to Kim’s line of reasoning about Biden, no matter the fact that the North Korean leader is a murderous totalitarian.
He told reporters:
‘Kim Jong Un made a statement that Joe Biden is a low IQ individual. He probably is, based on his record. I think I agree with him on that.’
Previously on Twitter, Trump had spoken similarly, sharing:
‘North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me. I have confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me, & also smiled when he called Swampman Joe Biden a low IQ individual, & worse. Perhaps that’s sending me a signal?’
Think about that for a moment — the president of the United States is freely tweeting that he “smiled” when the repeatedly murderous leader of a foreign country insulted one of his domestic political opponents.
In addition to that point, it’s worth noting that in contrast to the president’s position, Japanese authorities and the president’s own team have expressed their own concern about the latest North Korean weapons test. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the president’s own national security adviser John Bolton asserted that it’s a violation of standing resolutions from the United Nations Security Council although the test involved “only” short-range missiles. In that light, Trump explicitly doesn’t seem to care. That’s the level to which we’ve sunk, which is what happens when you put an egomaniac like Donald Trump on the world stage. Little to nothing is off limits in his estimation.
The commentary fits with other remarks he’s offered on domestic political situations. After repeatedly and without evidence condemning numerous political opponents as supposedly guilty of treason, a reporter at the White House pointed out to Trump that the Constitutionally-mandated punishment for treason is death — and he didn’t seem to care. Asked to clarify who exactly he was accusing of the crime in light of the scope of potential punishment, he freely launched into a list of high-profile figures like former FBI Director James Comey.
Freely suggesting that your political opponents are guilty of a crime punishable by death for daring to dissent is something you might expect from a leader of North Korea, not the president of the United States.
It’s not as though this latest development in this case comes out of the blue. At a rally, Trump has already said that he “fell in love” with Kim after the two leaders exchanged “beautiful letters” during negotiations surrounding what’s now become two meetings of the leaders. That second meeting concluded without even a show deal, but Trump refuses to concede that the situation may be out of control and that maybe his Twitter “diplomacy” isn’t working while millions of lives hang in the balance.
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