President Donald Trump seems to have a new ally in his 2020 reelection fight: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. More shocking, though, is that Trump appears fine with it — and is siding with the brutal dictator over a fellow American.
Last week, the state-run Korean Central News Agency published a scathing article targeting top Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden. Among other insults, the commentary called the former vice president “a fool of low IQ” and listed off a series of embarrassing moments in his life — like the time Biden fell asleep during a 2011 speech by then-President Barack Obama, or how in 1987 he admitted to plagiarizing in school.
Trump seemed delighted by the KCNA hit piece, tweeting Sunday that he had “confidence” Kim had “smiled when he called Swampman Joe Biden a low IQ individual, & worse.”
And asked about his tweet during a press conference alongside Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo* the next day, Trump reiterated his stance. “Kim Jong Un made a statement that Joe Biden is a low-IQ individual. He probably is, based on his record. I think I agree with him on that,” the president told reporters.
Just stop for a second and think about that: The president of the United States endorsed a foreign government’s nasty insults of America’s former vice president — and did so while standing next to the leader of a top American ally.
That’s appalling behavior from the president. There’s an unwritten rule that Americans — and especially high-level American politicians — are supposed to leave domestic politics at the water’s edge when they travel abroad. That means you don’t talk badly about your political opponents overseas, but instead show a united front as a representative of the United States.
Not only did Trump violate that very basic principle, he did so gleefully — and sided with a murderous, repressive dictator while he was at it.
Even some of Trump’s allies in Congress, like Rep. Pete King (R-NY), were appalled by Trump’s behavior.
Some experts, however, aren’t too shocked by Trump’s remarks. “This is Trump being Trump, using anything he can to strike his political enemies,” Harry Kazianis, a North Korea expert at the Center for the National Interest in Washington, told me.
Still, it shows that Trump has a penchant for siding with dictators when it most suits him — even at the expense of Americans and US allies.