Donald Trump admires North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un so much that he wants “his people” to sit attention when he speaks, just like Kim demands, The Hill is reporting.
Speaking Friday to Fox & Friends‘ Steve Doocy outside the White House, Trump once again mentioned his fondness for Kim, continuing a stream of compliments and admiring statements he’s made since the two met in Singapore earlier this week.
“Don’t let anyone think anything different. He speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same.”
It’s not clear what Trump meant by “his people” when referring to Kim – whether he meant Kim’s subordinates or the North Korean people as a whole. Similarly, it’s not clear if Trump, by “my people,” was referring to his staff members or the American people at large. Doocy, for his part, didn’t ask the president to clarify.
However, pressed later by reporters from other networks, Trump insinuated that it was all a big joke.
“I was kidding. You don’t understand sarcasm.”
It was not the first time that Trump has “joked” about taking his cues from a dictator. Just yesterday, in fact, as The Hill reported, Trump said that he admires the fact that Chinese president Xi Jinping has been granted the power to be president for life.
“He’s you know, an incredible guy. Essentially president for life. That’s pretty good.”
And in March, Trump had also spoken of Xi’s new power, saying, “Maybe we’ll give that a shot someday.” He later said he was joking.
Trump on Kim Jong Un just now: "Hey, he is the head of a country and I mean he is the strong head. Don't let anyone think anything different. He speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same." pic.twitter.com/11HBkCi0mL— Dave Brown (@dave_brown24) June 15, 2018
Ever since meeting with Kim Jong-Un face to face in Singapore this week – the first time in history a sitting U.S. president has met with a sitting North Korean dictator – Trump has been consistent in his praise of his Asian colleague.
For example, according to The Hill, Trump seemingly brushed off Kim’s abysmal human rights record, which includes tightly monitoring the media, murdering subordinates he deems disloyal, and putting political dissidents – including some Americans – into notorious prison camps where they face torture and starvation.
“A lot of other people have done some really bad things. I mean, I could go through a lot of nations where a lot of bad things were done.”
He also called Kim a “very smart guy” and a “great negotiator”; and has said that Kim is a “funny guy” who “loves his people.”
“I think we understand each other.”