Special Report aired Bret Baier’s interview with President Trump about the Singapore Summit today. There’s a lot in this interview, some of which was good but a lot of people are keying on an awkward portion of the interview where Trump defends Kim Jong-Un as “tough” and seems to shrug off his human rights abuses.
You were asked in the press conference a number of different times in different ways about human rights,” Baier said. He continued, “You know you call people, sometimes, ‘killers’. You know he is a killer. He’s clearly executing people.”
“He’s a tough guy,” Trump replied, adding, “When you take over a country, tough country, 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. I mean that’s one in ten-thousand that could do that.”
“But I mean, he’s still done some really bad things,” Baier protested.
“Yeah, but so have a lot of other people done some really bad things,” Trump replied.
I get why Trump is saying this. He’s in the midst of trying to put together a denuclearization deal which is an important and worthy goal, so he obviously can’t be singing “Rocket Man” on Fox News or things would fall apart very quickly. He wants this to work out.
But while I understand why he’s sweet-talking Kim, the pendulum is swinging a little too far when he’s praising a tyrant who runs a communist/cult-of-personality backstopped by a murderous gulag as “one in ten-thousand.” And you can bet that response is going to wind up on North Korean state TV. The starving people whose bellies are full of parasites are going to despair knowing the person who is making their lives hell-on-earth is considered a rare bird by the leader of the free world.
Yes, a lot of people have done some bad things but Kim is very arguably one of the worst human beings alive on the planet today. He’s running the most brutal and repressive hellhole on earth, plus he’s threatening everyone else with nuclear weapons. He’s not one of many, he’s especially bad in every way.
Of course, if the deal works out then we’ll at least have gotten something worthwhile in exchange for all of this glad-handing and praise. Trump is upbeat that it will work out, but as he says himself in this interview, things could look very different in six months. And that’s precisely why he ought to be a bit more careful with his words in the interim. Because if this deal falls apart, Trump can go back to calling Kim Jong Un “rocket man,” but North Korea will always have the video of our president praising him. And they can play that on a loop on state-run media with no fear of any subsequent criticism contradicting it.
Bottom line: The deal is a worthy goal and befriending a tyrant may be the only way to make a lasting change happen. But Kim is now and will always be a murderous dirtbag. The president may know that deep down but if so it really doesn’t come across here. I have this clip cued up to the question about Kim and human rights: