Since he was still a candidate for president in 2016, Donald Trump had shied away from sitting down for an interview with the chief political correspondent for Fox News, Bret Baier. Last month, Baier himself told the New Yorker that he had not been granted an interview with Trump in 534 days — “not like anybody’s counting,” Baier said.
On Tuesday, Trump met in Singapore with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un where, as the Inquisitr reported, Trump offered a number of unprecedented concessions to the totalitarian regime while receiving basically nothing in return. The bizarre summit was the primary focus of Baier’s long-awaited interview with Trump, which was conducted aboard Air Force One as Trump flew back from the meeting with Kim.
The Fox News interview aired on Wednesday, and included Trump saying that he was willing to ignore Kim’s lengthy history of human rights violations and abuses if the North Korean strongman agrees to “denuclearize” his country.
According to the Federation of American Scientists, North Korea has at least 20 nuclear warheads in its arsenal. Those warheads remain ready to be launched, despite the fact that Trump on his Twitter account Wednesday morning claimed that North Korea was “no longer a nuclear threat,” as the Inquisitr reported.
Trump’s interview with Baier appears to be worth the wait for Baier, however, as Trump veered the conversation off onto some bizarre tangents, and gave strange and alarming answers to some of Baier’s questions. Below are five of the most noteworthy and stunning moments from Trump’s Bret Baier interview that aired last Wednesday afternoon.
Kim’s human rights record is perhaps the worst in the world, according to Human Rights Watch, which called North Korea “one of the most repressive authoritarian states in the world.” The United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights said that Kim’s violations were of a “gravity, scale and nature… that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world.”
Nonetheless, following his meeting with Kim, Trump lavished praise on the 35-year-old dictator, who rules the reclusive communist state that was ruled by his father and grandfather before him, even claiming that Kim “loves his people,” and calling him “funny,” “smart,” and “a great negotiator,” according to a CNN report.
When Baier confronted Trump with the fact that Kim “executes” his own people, Trump shrugged off the behavior, praising Kim as “a tough guy” and added that “a lot of other people have done some really bad things.”
BAIER: Kim Jong Un is "clearly executing people."— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 13, 2018
TRUMP: "He's a tough guy. Hey, when you take over a country, tough country, tough people, and you take it over from your father ... if you could do that at 27-years old, I mean, that's 1 in 10,000 that could do that." (via FOX) pic.twitter.com/R8FfkREDYX
Conservative military commentator Tom Nichols wasn’t buying that one.
The President of the United States just gave an attaboy to Kim Jong Un for having the balls to take over his family’s management of a Stalinist dynasty running a starving prison camp.— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) June 13, 2018
Trump supporters will now tie themselves in knots explaining why it’s awesome that he did that.
Diverging from the North Korea summit, Baier asked Trump why at the G7 summit earlier in the week, Trump had called for Russia to be reinstated into the group, even though the country continues its invasion of neighboring Ukraine and annexation of Crimea, the offenses that led the G7 to expel Russia in 2014.
Trump replied with a lengthy answer that centered on his claim that United States relations with Russia would improve “if Vladimir Putin were sitting next to me,” as Fox News Insider reported.
Trump on why he wants Russia back in G7: "If Putin were sitting next to me & we were having dinner, I could say, 'would you do me a favor? Would you get out of Syria? Would you get out of Ukraine? Just come on.'... I could ask him to do things that are good for the world." pic.twitter.com/eBd2flJ3r9— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 13, 2018
Asked by Baier about China’s President Xi Jingping, who was recently installed into a position that makes him, for all intents and purposes, president for life, Trump was impressed. “President for life. That’s pretty good,” Trump said, as The Hill recounted.
Trump on President Xi of China: "He's an incredible guy. You know, essentially president for life. That's pretty good." pic.twitter.com/U0d8108edw— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 13, 2018
In response to Baier’s question about the U.S. troop presence in South Korea, which has been in place since the end of hostilities in the Korean War 65 years ago and has been considered the key element in guaranteeing security on the Korean peninsula, according to an account by the Korean history site 38 North, Trump simply said that the troop presence was too expensive and implied the South Koreans were essentially freeloading.
South Korea actually covers half of the costs of maintaining the U.S. bases there. In fact, Seoul picked up 90 percent of the tab for contracting Camp Humphreys, which is America’s largest overseas base, according to The Diplomat.
During interview with @BretBaier, Trump says he hopes to get US troops out of South Korea as soon as possible, indicates he's not happy with fact that "we don't get paid fully for that military" presence there. pic.twitter.com/Jb2ORhI97C— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 13, 2018
Finally, in what may have been the most bizarre claim made by Trump in the interview, he said that during the 2016 campaign, “thousands and thousands” of people asked him to recover the remains of “our sons” who were killed in the Korean War.
Trump tells Fox that parents of soldiers killed in the Korean War asked him on the campaign trail to bring their sons home. (Absolute minimum age of such a parents is 101 years old. Probable age 110 to 120.) pic.twitter.com/coIjMAekrg— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) June 14, 2018
Because, as the History Channel recounts, fighting ended in the Korean War on July 27, 1953, a soldier who died that year at age 18 would have parents who — if they were only 18 when he was born — could themselves have been born no later than 1917; that means that Trump is claiming to have met “thousands and thousands” of Korean War parents 99 years old or older as of 2016.