Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi reacted to President Trump’s defense of Kim Jong-un in the death of Otto Warmbier by drawing a parallel to Trump’s affinity for believing other “thugs” like Russian President Vladimir Putin over his own officials.
“I don’t think Kim Jong-un is on the level and the President has believed Putin as opposed to believing his own intelligence leadership on subjects, so, again, I didn’t know the President had said that, but it’s strange,” she said during her weekly press conference. “I don’t know, it’s something wrong with Putin, Kim-Jong-un, in my view thugs, that the President chooses to believe.”
Critics drew the same conclusion after Trump told reporters that he took Kim at his word when he denied knowing what happened to Warmbier while he was imprisoned in North Korea for a year and a half and returned to the U.S. in a coma. He died six days later. Doctors say he was in a coma for more than a year.
Similar to Kim, Trump has said he believed Putin when he denied Russian interference in the 2016 election. He’s also sided with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman after Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was brutally murdered and dismembered by Saudi officials, despite intelligence that concluded bin Salman was aware of the murder plot.