The Slatest

When Asked About Kim Jong-un’s Abysmal Human Rights Record, Trump Responded: “He’s a Tough Guy”

Fox News’ Bret Baier sat down with President Trump for an interview immediately following the North Korea summit in Singapore. Trump, dotted between his usual bluster of falsehoods and half-truths, indicated he had warmed considerably to the North Korean leader since the heady days of the pair’s Twitter dustups that looked poised to launch the world into nuclear conflict. Trump told Baier that he and Kim have “a very good relationship I feel” and “we know when we have chemistry.” Perhaps a bit too warm.

When Baier brought up the prickly question of resolving Kim’s abysmal human rights record under the brutal totalitarianism of his regime that has rendered 25 million North Koreans prisoners in their own country, subject to arbitrary torture and imprisonment, lacking even the most basic freedoms, Trump dove headfirst in the tank for his new co-star. The whataboutism from the president of the United States is jarring, and staggering in its implication that there is no moral or ethical bottom—or baseline even.

From Fox News:

Baier: You were asked in the press conference a number of different times, different ways, about human rights and that you called this relationship really good and that [Kim] was a very talented person. You know, you call sometimes killers. He is a killer. He’s clearly executing people. 

Trump: He’s a tough guy. Hey, when you take over a country, tough country, with tough people, and you take it over from your father, I don’t care who you are, what you are, how much of an advantage you have. If you can do that at 27 years old, that’s one-in-10,000 that could do that. So he’s a very smart guy. He’s a great negotiator, but I think we understand each other.

Baier: But he’s still done some really bad things. 

Trump: Yeah, but so have a lot of other people done some really bad things. I could go through a lot of nations were a lot of bad things were done. 

Trump’s willingness to excuse brutality whether its Philippines President Duterte or Russian President Putin is hard to reconcile when compared to the jabbing, haranguing, and insulting Trump saves for longtime allies of the U.S., from Canada to France and the U.K.