President Donald Trump backed North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un regarding the despot's reference to former Vice President Joe Biden as a "low IQ individual."
During a press conference in Tokyo on Monday, Trump endorsed Kim Jong-un's insult toward Biden, even though doing so means that the president has effectively backed a brutal dictator over a man who had once been the second most powerful individual in the American government, according to ABC News. Specifically Trump told the reporters that "Kim Jong-Un made a statement that Joe Biden is a low IQ individual. He probably is based on his record. I think I agree with him on that."
After being confronted about how he was siding with a foreign dictator over an American citizen, Trump insisted that he doesn't take sides before deflecting to an attack on the policies pursued by President Barack Obama's administration, which Biden served for eight years.
"I can tell you that Joe Biden was a disaster, his administration with President Obama, they were basically a disaster when it came to so many things. Whether it was economy, whether it was military, defense, no matter what it was. They had a lot of problems. So I'm not a fan," Trump told the reporters.
Trump also downplayed the threat of North Korea's recent missile tests, drawing a sharp contrast with his own national security advisor and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
"My people think it could have been a violation, as you know. I view it differently. I view it as a man, perhaps he wants to get attention, and perhaps not. Who knows? It doesn't matter. All I know is that there have been no nuclear tests. There have been no ballistic missiles going out. There have been no long-range missiles going out. And I think that someday we'll have a deal," Trump told the reporters.
The president foreshadowed that he would take these positions in a tweet on Saturday about both Kim Jong-un's attack on Biden and his stance on North Korea's missile tests.
"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?" Trump tweeted. One day later, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders reiterated that view on NBC's "Meet the Press."
There have long been concerns that Trump is an easy mark for foreign dictators who know how to flatter him or otherwise play to his ego. This is a concern that has been expressed about Trump's relations with foreign leaders from Vladimir Putin in Russia to Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia. When speaking with Salon earlier this year, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright pointed out that "when I was in North Korea [President] Kim Jong-il, the father of the current president there, said that he didn’t have any problems with us having our troops in South Korea. I do think that what is worrisome to me is, in an effort to be flattered by Kim Jong-un, that he [Trump] gives away something that might have a longer term effect for the next administration."