As his constituents back home headed into a long Memorial Day weekend, Donald Trump continued his track record of embarrassing himself on the world stage by praising a brutal dictator and attacking an American political opponent.
While there is no limit to Trump’s depravity, his tweet Saturday praising North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un—while Trump is in Japan, no less—and attacking Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden somehow reaches a new low. In a normal world, Trump would be impeached over this tweet alone.
On Saturday, Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, said that missile tests conducted by North Korea earlier this month violated U.N. Security Council resolutions designed to rein in the country’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles programs. Speaking in Tokyo ahead of Trump’s visit, Bolton told reporters, “The UN Security Council resolution prohibits the launch of any ballistic missiles and there is no doubt that North Korea has violated the resolution,” CNN reported.
But later, Trump contradicted his own national security adviser, said he wasn’t concerned about the missile tests, and attacked a political rival on foreign soil. All in one tweet.
“North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me,” Trump tweeted. “I have confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me, & also smiled when he called Swampman Joe Bidan a low IQ individual, & worse. Perhaps that’s sending me a signal?”
After being skewered on social media, Trump deleted the tweet and reposted the same comment with Biden’s name spelled correctly. None of the other offensive statements were changed.
Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe then went golfing.
Later, Trump tweeted another attack against his political rivals, likely telling a whopper of a lie in the process. “Great fun and meeting with Prime Minister @AbeShinzo,” Trump wrote. “Numerous Japanese officials told me that the Democrats would rather see the United States fail than see me or the Republican Party succeed - Death Wish!” I’m pretty sure “numerous Japanese officials” didn’t say that, but who knows.
On Sunday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tried to deflect and spin Trump’s comments, saying that Kim and Trump “agree in their assessment” of Biden.
“I think they agree in their assessment of former Vice President Joe Biden,” Sanders told NBC’s Chuck Todd. Seconds later, she said, “The president doesn’t need somebody else to give him an assessment of Joe Biden. He’s given his own assessment a number of times…We shouldn’t even be in the position that we’re in to have to deal with North Korea at the level we are, if they [Obama and Biden] had done their job in the first place.”
She added that Trump “still feels good” about his relationship with Kim.
And that’s where we’re at on this Memorial Day weekend.