President Trump downplayed concerns about Kim Jong-un’s human rights record during an interview with Fox News’ Brett Baier Wednesday aboard Air Force One.
“You know, you call people, sometimes, killers. He is a killer,” Baier said of Kim, just hours after Trump praised the dictator following their historic summit in Singapore. “He’s clearly executing people.”
Trump interjected, calling Kim a “tough guy” and praising him for succeeding his father at a young age.
Baier pressed Trump on Kim’s abysmal human rights record, pointing out that he’s done “some really bad things.”
“Yeah, but so have a lot of other people done some really bad things. I mean I could go through a lot of nations where a lot of bad things were done,” Trump responded.
Trump’s defense of Kim, who is widely considered to be responsible for the arbitrary imprisonment of millions of his subjects, is reminiscent of his comments about Vladimir Putin.
“What do you think — our country’s so innocent?” Trump said when challenged about his praise for the Russian strongman.
Later in the interview, Trump touched on the comments he made following the summit regarding U.S. troop withdrawals from the Korean peninsula.
“I would love to get the military out as soon as we can because it costs a lot of money and a lot of money for us,” Trump said. “I would like to get them home. I would like to, but it is not on the table right now. At the appropriate time, it will be.”
The U.S. currently has 28,500 troops stationed in South Korea and has maintained a presence there since the conclusion of the Korean War in 1953.
The president also reiterated his call for Russia to be invited back into the Group of 7 Nations after being ousted in 2014 in retaliation for the annexation of Crimea.
“You know, we spend probably 25 percent of our time talking about Russia and I said wouldn’t it be better if they were here,” Trump said of the G7. “I’m not for Russia. I’m for the United States.”