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Trump Responds After Otto Warmbier’s Family Slams Him For Covering For Kim Jong-Un

Otto Warmbier was a college student traveling in North Korea in 2015 where he was arrested for stealing a propaganda poster and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor. While in North Korean custody, Warmbier mysteriously slipped into a coma and never regained consciousness.

Warmbier died shortly after being released to the United States in 2017. In 2018, a federal judge held North Korea liable for “torture, hostage taking, and extrajudicial killing of Otto Warmbier” and ordered the country to pay $500 million in damages.

Earlier this week, President Trump was asked about his cozy relationship with Kim Jong-Un and whether he confronted the North Korean dictator about the death of Otto Warmbier. Trump responded by saying he took Kim “at his word” that he had nothing to do with it.

“I don’t think that the top leadership knew about it,” Trump said. “I don’t believe that he would have allowed that to happen. […] He tells me that he didn’t know about it and I will take him at his word.”

If you think it’s probably beyond belief that the brutal and infamously anti-American dictator of North Korea didn’t know about one of the country’s biggest American political prisoners, you’re not alone.

But Trump didn’t didn’t just rile Twitter with his comments, he also pissed off Otto Warmbier’s parents, who had previously been Trump’s guests for the 2018 State of the Union address.

“We have been respectful during this summit process. Now we must speak out. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for the death of our son Otto. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for unimaginable cruelty and inhumanity. No excuses or lavish praise can change that. Thank you,” Fred and Cindy Warmbier told CNN.

Now, Trump has responded to the criticism he’s received from the Warmbiers and others (sort of). In a series of tweets, Trump claimed he was “misinterpreted” and tried to shift blame to Obama.

It’s a gaslighting reminiscent of the time Trump claimed he “misspoke” at the Putin summit absolving Russia of responsibility for 2016 election interference. But Trump’s lame attempt at an apology isn’t going over too well.

In other North Korea news, it turns out the Trump-Kim summit that seemingly fizzled with no concrete concessions from either side actually yielded some pretty substantial concessions… from the U.S. Trump—who had been praised as “knowing when to walk away” by right-wing media after talks fell apart—has agreed to halt “large-scale joint exercises” with South Korea in order to “ease tensions” with North Korea, according to NBC News.

And that, folks, is the “art of the deal.”

h/t: CNN, NBC News