Within minutes, Donald Trump blasts Justin Trudeau, defends Kim Jong Un
Speaking on the North Lawn of the White House Friday morning, Trump defended his meeting with Kim and the dictator’s human rights record.
“You know why?” Trump said when pressed about defending Kim. “I don’t want to see a nuclear weapon destroy you and your family. I want to have a good relationship with North Korea. I want to have a good relationship with many countries.”
Kim has been accused of ordering the killing of his uncle, a half-brother and hundreds of officials suspected of disloyalty while tens of thousands of North Koreans are imprisoned in labour camps.
Trump also glossed over Kim’s human rights abuse during an interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier following the summit.
“He’s a tough guy,” Trump said. “Hey, when you take over a country, a tough country with tough people, and you take it over from your father, I don’t care who you are, what you are, how much of an advantage you have, if you can do that at 27 years old, … that’s one in 10,000 that could do that.
“He’s a very smart guy. He’s a great negotiator, but I think we understand each other,” Trump said.
Attacks on Trudeau
The president’s comments Friday came moments after he took another potshot at Trudeau’s G7 summit remarks.
“The Prime Minister up there, Trudeau, didn’t think, I guess, that we have any televisions on Air Force One,” Trump said.
After Trump left the G7 summit in Quebec last weekend, Trudeau said in a press conference that he told the U.S. president that his steel and aluminum tariffs were “kind of insulting,” that Canada “will not be pushed around” and that it would not hesitate to impose retaliatory measures.
While on Air Force One, Trump laid into Trudeau on social media, calling the prime minister’s behaviour “meek and mild” and accusing him of making “false statements” at his press conference.
Family separations at border
Trump went on to blame his administration’s policy of separating undocumented immigrant children from their parents at the southern border and placing them in detention facilities on the Democrats.
“I hate the children being taken away. The Democrats have to change their law. That’s their law,” Trump told reporters outside the White House.
Trump asserted that because Republicans in the Senate have only a one-vote advantage over the Democrats, and that because Democrats often vote as a unified bloc and seldom support Republican initiatives, it was the fault of the Democrats that his administration initiated an program of holding children apart from their families.
On Thursday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said “it is very biblical to enforce the law.” Attorney General Jeff Sessions had earlier cited the Bible, Romans 13, in his defense of the border policy that has resulted in hundreds of children being separated from their parents.
WATCH: Trump immigration policy separates kids from parents
Sanders also went on to blame the Democrats for the policy of separating children from their parents.
“The separation of illegal alien families is the product of the same legal loopholes that Democrats refuse to close and these laws are the same that have been on the books for over a decade, and the president is simply enforcing them,” Sanders said.
The family separations are occurring as a result of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy for those entering the country illegally. Under the directive, families crossing the border are routinely referred for criminal prosecution. Previously, families were often sent to civil deportation proceedings, which allow children to remain with their parents.
During the criminal proceedings, the children are usually released to other family members or foster care.
—with files from the Associated Press
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