Vague pledges of denuclearization and a disturbing military salute aren’t the only eyebrow-raising results to have emerged from President Donald Trump’s summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un earlier this week.
The high-stakes meeting is apparently now serving as inspiration for Trump, who told Fox News’ Steve Doocy outside the White House Friday morning that he desires the same brand of dictatorial effect Kim has on repressed North Korean citizens. In detailing his envy, Trump described Americans as “my people”—a signal the president may already be attempting to emulate Kim, one of the world’s most notorious dictators.
“He’s the head of a country, and I mean he’s the strong head—don’t let anyone think anything different,” Trump said while floating the possibility that Kim could be invited to the White House soon. “He speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same.”
TRUMP on Kim Jong Un (note the final two sentences): "He's the head of a country, and I mean he's 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." (via FOX) pic.twitter.com/ed9AMRl9ny
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 15, 2018
The statement echoes remarks Trump gave during an interview shortly after the summit concluded, where he commended the “great fervor” Kim strikes among North Koreans. He told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos: “His people, you see the fervor. They have a great fervor.”
Shortly after the Fox News interview aired, Trump tried to brush his statement off as joke. “You don’t understand sarcasm,” he told reporters. The attempt at humor, as the president claimed, would be hard to detect for a president with a disturbing record of praising the world’s dictators and strongmen.
Trump, now talking to reporters on the White House driveway, says of this comment: "I'm kidding. You don't understand sarcasm." https://t.co/GVG3JFMIyU
— Rebecca Ballhaus (@rebeccaballhaus) June 15, 2018