White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Monday defended North Korean President Kim Jong-Un after President Donald Trump said that he would be “honored” to meet with the murderous dictator.
At Monday’s White House press briefing, ABC’s Jonathan Karl noted that Trump told Bloomberg that meeting Kim would be an honor under the right conditions.
“He’s still the head of state,” Spicer said of the North Korean leader. “There is a diplomatic piece to this. The bottom line is the president is going to do what he has to do.”
“What did [Trump] mean when he called [Kim] a pretty smart cookie?” Karl wondered.
“His point was he assumed power at a young age when his father passed away and there’s a lot of potential threats that could have come his way and he’s obviously managed to lead a country forward,” Spicer insisted. “Despite the concerns that we and so many other people have.”
New York Times correspondent Glenn Thrush observed that Trump had also praised other strongmen like Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and former Iraq President Saddam Hussein.
“Does the president have a thing with these totalitarian leaders?” Thrush pressed. “Does he admire something about the way these guys conduct themselves?”
Spicer disagreed and insisted that Trump was “doing everything diplomatically and economically and militarily to consider every way to prevent” the North Korean threat.
Watch the video below from CNN, broadcast May 1, 2017.