Trump Takes Kim ‘At His Word’ On Otto’s Death: ‘Don’t Believe He Would Have Allowed That’

HANOI, VIETNAM - FEBRUARY 28: A handout photo of U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (L) during their second summit meeting at the Sofitel Legend Metropole hotel on February 28, 2019 in Hanoi, Vietnam. U.S President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un abruptly cut short their two-day summit in Vietnam as talks broke down and both leaders failed to reach an agreement on nuclear disarmament. Trump said in a press conference on Thursday that the United States was unwilling to lift all sanctions and no plans had been made for a third summit. (Photo by Vietnam News Agency/Handout/Getty Images)
HANOI, VIETNAM - FEBRUARY 28: In this handout photo provided by Vietnam News Agency, U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (L) during their second summit meeting at the Sofitel Legend Me... HANOI, VIETNAM - FEBRUARY 28: In this handout photo provided by Vietnam News Agency, U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (L) during their second summit meeting at the Sofitel Legend Metropole hotel on February 28, 2019 in Hanoi, Vietnam. U.S President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un abruptly cut short their two-day summit in Vietnam as talks broke down and both leaders failed to reach an agreement on nuclear disarmament. Trump said in a press conference on Thursday that the United States was unwilling to lift all sanctions and no plans had been made for a third summit. (Photo by Vietnam News Agency/Handout/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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February 28, 2019 8:08 a.m.

President Donald Trump on Thursday told reporters that he took North Korean regime leader Kim Jong-un “at his word” on the death of American student Otto Warmbier.

“I don’t believe he would have allowed that,” Trump said during a press conference after a failed denuclearization summit with Kim. “He felt very badly about it. … He tells me that he didn’t know about it and I will take him at his word.”

Trump suggested that because there are “a lot of people” in North Korea and specifically in North Korea’s prison camps, it was feasible that Kim wouldn’t know about the torture of Warmbier, who was returned to the U.S. after he was imprisoned for nearly a year and a half. Warmbier died right after he returned to the U.S. and doctors assessed that he had been in a coma for more than a year.

It’s perplexing that Trump would believe Kim’s denials that he knew about what was going on with Warmbier while he was imprisoned given the public nature of the American student’s case. Warmbier’s parents were vocal about his trial and Warmbier was even forced to hold a press conference to beg for his freedom after he was arrested.

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