Sen. Mitt Romney said Friday morning he was critical of President Donald Trump’s defense of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s role in the death of American Otto Warmbier.
Trump said Thursday following the collapse of his summit with the North Korean leader that he believed Kim’s assertion that he didn’t know about Warmbier’s treatment while in North Korean custody.
“He tells me he didn’t know about it, and I take him at his word,” said Trump.
Warmbier was arrested by North Korean officials in 2016 for allegedly stealing a propaganda poster and sentenced to 17 years of hard labor. When he was released to U.S. custody in 2017, he had suffered massive brain damage and later died while in a vegetative state.
Romney said Friday morning he disagreed with Trump.
“There is no question that North Korea has been responsible for a whole host of human rights abuses and atrocities,” Romney said to reporters. “I’ve never heard someone who did something wrong jump up and say, ‘I did it, I did it.’ They typically try to blame someone else, so let’s follow our intelligence community.”
Warmbier’s parents blasted Trump’s comments on Friday morning in a statement saying, “Kim and his evil regime are responsible for the death of our son Otto. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for unimaginable cruelty and inhumanity. No excuses or lavish praise can change that,” they said.