While visiting Japan on a state visit, President Donald Trump praised North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un for criticizing Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
Trump tweeted on Saturday evening that he “smiled when [Kim] called Swampman Joe Biden a low IQ individual, & worse. Perhaps that’s sending me a signal?”
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?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 26, 2019
A statement by North Korean state media earlier in the week called Biden a “fool of low IQ” and “an imbecile bereft of elementary quality as a human being, let alone a politician.” As political insults go, this is much more pungent than Trump’s usual “Sleepy Joe” bit.
On NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, host Chuck Todd asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders why “Americans should not 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?”
“I think they agree in their assessment of former Vice President Joe Biden,” Sanders responded.
“I think if anybody needs help with an assessment it’s Joe Biden and whether or not he should be trying to get an upgrade when he failed to do the job in the number two slot.” pic.twitter.com/g7px0CicZ0
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) May 26, 2019
“Given Vice President Biden’s record of standing up for American values and interests, it’s no surprise that North Korea would prefer that Donald Trump remain in the White House,” a Biden spokesperson responded.
Trump also downplayed the threat from North Korean’s testing of a new short-range missile in early May, while admitting that some of his advisers disagreed with him.
“North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me,” he tweeted. “I have confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me.”
Those dissenting advisers include hawkish National Security Adviser John Bolton, who said there was “no doubt” that North Korea’s test violated United Nations resolutions.
Trump’s statements about North Korea will also likely displease his Japanese hosts, since that country is within range of being hit by North Korean missiles.