Fox News anchor Chris Wallace blasted President Trump Friday for taking North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un at his word that he knew nothing about the circumstances that led to detained American college student Otto Warmbier’s death, calling it an “unforced error” on the president’s part.
In a press conference following his aborted second summit with the North Korean leader, Trump said Kim told him “he didn’t know about it, and I take him at his word.” The president added: “I don’t believe he would have allowed that to happen.”
Fox News co-anchor Sandra Smith noted Friday morning that Warmbier’s parents had released a damning statement on Trump’s remarks, pointing out that White House counselor Kellyanne Conway attempted to spin the president’s comments earlier on America’s Newsroom.
“This strikes me as a completely unforced error by the president and the White House,” Wallace asserted. “Why on an issue like this—there’s no question that Otto Warmbier was brutally tortured, basically killed by the North Koreans—why on earth would you side with Kim Jong Un over the Warmbier family and the sense of outrage?”
The Fox News Sunday host explained that on its face it would appear to be ridiculous that Kim wouldn’t personally know about the incarceration of an American, adding that even if that were true, “why would you want to get into this fight” since the North Korean regime was obviously responsible.
“You’re getting pushback now from the Warmbier family,” Wallace noted of Trump’s predicament. “You’re getting pushback from the president’s former U.N. Ambassador, Nikki Haley. She says she holds the Kim regime responsible and you have a lot of Senate Republicans yesterday like Cory Gardner of Colorado say Otto Warmbier’s blood is on Kim Jong Un’s hands.”
The veteran journalist concluded by reiterating his disbelief over Trump going down this road of “siding with Kim” and holding a brutal dictator “blameless for what happened to Otto Warmbier.”