The Slatest

Sarah Sanders: Trump, North Korea’s Kim “Agree in Their Assessment” of Biden

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders talks to reporters outside the West Wing May 23, 2019 in Washington, D.C.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders talks to reporters outside the West Wing May 23, 2019 in Washington, D.C.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that President Donald Trump isn’t quite “siding with” North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, but they just both happen to see eye-to-eye on former Vice President Joe Biden. “I think they agree in their assessment of former Vice President Joe Biden,” Sanders said on NBC’s Meet the Press. “Again, the president’s focus in this process is the relationship he has and making sure we continue on the path towards denuclearization.”

Host Chuck Todd pressed Sanders about what kind of message Trump was sending by siding with Kim when it came time to discuss a potential challenger in the presidential contest. Todd wondered whether Americans should be “concerned that the president of the United States is essentially siding with a murderous authoritarian dictator over a former vice president of the United States.” Sanders dismissed the premise of the question. “The president doesn’t need somebody else to give him an assessment of Joe Biden,” Sanders responded. “He’s given his own assessment a number of times. I think you’ve seen it. I’m sure you’ve covered it on your program. The president watched him and his administration with President Obama fail for eight years.” Sanders went on to say that Trump has “cleaned up a lot of the messes that were left behind.”

Sanders was asked about the issue after Trump seemed to contradict his national security adviser when he downplayed the importance of recent North Korean missile tests. “North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me,” Trump wrote late Saturday. “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?” Trump appeared to be referring to a piece in state-run North Korean media outlet KCNA that on Tuesday called Joe Biden a “fool of low IQ” after the former vice president called Kim a tyrant.