President Trump on Friday took to Twitter to defend comments he made on Thursday during a post summit press conference held before he departed Vietnam, where he said he believed that Kim Jong un, had no knowledge of the horrible abuse American citizen Otto Warmbier suffered while residing in a North Korean prison after having been arrested for stealing a propaganda poster.
WOW — Trump says he doesn't think Kim Jong Un is responsible for Otto Warmbier's death.— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 28, 2019
"I do not think the top leadership knew about it… I do not believe that he would have allowed that to happen… He tells me he did now know about it and I will take him at his word." pic.twitter.com/mDydJGq2dv
Full Context via White House.gov.
Reporter: Yes, thank you, Mr. President. You have a personal relationship — and I believe Vice President Pence does — with the family of Otto Warmbier.
Trump: I do.
Reporter: I’m wondering — you’ve talked about, this week, about Kim Jong Un being “my friend” — you called him on Twitter. You said you have a great relationship. Have you, in Singapore or here, confronted Kim Jong Un about Otto Warmbier’s death —
Trump: I have. I have.
Reporter: — and asked him to take responsibility? And what did he say to you? And why do you call him your friend?
Trump: I have. And I have, and we have talked about it. And I really don’t think it was in his interest at all. I know the Warmbier family very well. I think they’re an incredible family. What happened is horrible. I really believe something very bad happened to him, and I don’t think that the top leadership knew about it.
Trump cont: And when they had to send him home — by the way, I got the prisoners back. I got the hostages back. And Otto was one of the hostages, but Otto came back in shape that was not even to be talked about. I find it — I thought it was horrible. Now, the others came back extremely healthy. But Otto came back in a condition that was just — just terrible.
Trump cont: And I will — I did speak about it, and I don’t believe that he would’ve allowed that to happen. Just wasn’t to his advantage to allow that to happen. Those prisons are rough. They’re rough places. And bad things happened. But I really don’t believe that he was — I don’t believe he knew about it.
Reporter: Did he say — did he tell you that he did not — did Kim Jong Un tell you —
Trump: He felt badly about it. I did speak to him. He felt very badly. But he knew the case very well, but he knew it later. And, you know, you got a lot of people. A big country. A lot of people. And in those prisons and those camps, you have a lot of people. And some really bad things happened to Otto. Some really, really bad things. But he tells me —
Reporter: Why are you (inaudible) —
Trump: He tells me that he didn’t know about it, and I will take him at his word.
Why it matters:
Misinterpreted my ass…
For What It’s Worth:
CNN did an in depth piece on who was Otto Warmbier, according to the article he departed for a five day trip in spring of 2016. That trip was suppose to last five days. He was held for seventeen months.