President Donald Trump on Friday lashed out at criticism that he failed to hold Kim Jong-un accountable for the death of American Otto Warmbier.
Trump did not respond to why he did not hold Jong-un accountable, but did say he holds the country accountable.
At a news conference following the collapse of his second summit, Trump said he accepted Jong-un's denials.
“He tells me that he didn’t know about it, and I will take him at his word,” Trump said. “Those prisons are rough. They’re rough places, and bad things happen, but I don’t believe he knew about it.”
Trump was harshly criticized for defending a "murderous dictator" with his comments.
On Twitter, Trump addressed the controversy.
"I never like being misinterpreted, but especially when it comes to Otto Warmbier and his great family," Trump argued. "Remember, I got Otto out along with three others."
"The previous Administration did nothing, and he was taken on their watch," he continued.
"Of course I hold North Korea responsible for Otto’s mistreatment and death," he wrote, without mentioning Jong-un.
"Most important, Otto Warmbier will not have died in vain. Otto and his family have become a tremendous symbol of strong passion and strength, which will last for many years into the future," he continued.
"I love Otto and think of him often!" Trump added.
I never like being misinterpreted, but especially when it comes to Otto Warmbier and his great family. Remember, I… https://t.co/k5uqmeIFTO— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1551474193.0
....for Otto’s mistreatment and death. Most important, Otto Warmbier will not have died in vain. Otto and his famil… https://t.co/zP1ARM3hqh— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1551474194.0