White House says U.S. president, N. Korean dictator 'agree' on 'low IQ' assessment of Joe Biden, continues downplaying N. Korea missile threat

Kadia Tubman
Reporter

Before President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met at their historical summits, they lobbed attacks at each other through speeches and social media, with Kim calling Trump a “mentally deranged U.S. dotard” and Trump calling Kim “a madman” and “Little Rocket Man.” Now they “agree” on an assessment of Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden as a “low IQ” person.

“I think they agree in their assessment of former Vice President Joe Biden,” said White House press secretary Sarah Sanders about Trump and Kim on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday.

On Saturday, Trump tweeted from Japan, where he is meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, “North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me. I have confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me, & also smiled when he called Swampman Joe Biden a low IQ individual, & worse. Perhaps that’s sending me a signal?”

A campaign aide for Biden responded to the original tweet, in which Trump misspelled Biden’s last name: “I would say the tweet speaks for itself, but it’s so unhinged and erratic that I’m not sure anyone could even say that with a straight face.”

Sanders told “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd, “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. I think you’ve seen it. I’m sure you’ve covered it on your program. The president watched him and his administration with President Obama fail for eight years.”

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Trump. (Photo" Evan Vucci/AP)

In the past week, North Korea’s state-run news agency, KCNA, bashed Biden, calling him, in language similar to Trump’s, a “fool of low IQ,” and an “imbecile bereft of elementary quality as a human being.”

“He is self-praising himself as being the most popular presidential candidate. This is enough to make a cat laugh,” the agency wrote. “Explicitly speaking, we will never pardon anyone who dare provoke the supreme leadership of the [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] but will certainly make them pay for it.”

KCNA lashed out after Biden, during a campaign rally in Philadelphia last Saturday, called Kim a tyrant and criticized Trump’s relationship with the North Korean dictator. Biden’s campaign said North Korea would prefer Trump “remain in the White House.”

“As Vice President Biden said in Philadelphia, Donald Trump ‘embraces dictators and tyrants like Putin and Kim Jong Un’ while alienating our closest allies. That is antithetical to who we are and it has to change,” said Andrew Bates, a spokesman for Biden’s campaign, in response to KCNA’s attacks Wednesday.

“Trump has also been repeatedly tricked into making major concessions to the murderous regime in Pyongyang while getting nothing in return,” he said. “Given Vice President Biden’s record of standing up for American values and interests, it’s no surprise that North Korea would prefer that Donald Trump remain in the White House.”

It was in March when Trump added Biden to his list of low IQ individuals. Sanders said that Trump has “cleaned up a lot of the messes that were left behind” by Biden and former President Barack Obama.

“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 had done their job in the first place,” said Sanders.

Kim and Trump take a walk after their meeting at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi hotel in February. (Photo: Evan Vucci/AP)

“The previous administration did nothing,” she continued. “They failed with Iran, they failed with North Korea, they failed on trade. And we finally have a president that’s being tough with these countries. We’ve put tougher sanctions on North Korea than the Obama administration ever did. But at the same time, the president wants to develop that relationship, and he wants to actually get something done.”

Sanders added: “I think if anybody needs help with an assessment it’s Joe Biden, and whether or not he should be trying to get an upgrade when he failed to do the job in the number two slot.”

Sanders set aside concerns about North Korea’s recent missile tests, saying they weren’t “bothering” the president. The tests come about three months after Trump abruptly ended talks at their February summit after failing to settle on a nuclear disarmament deal with Kim, a move Biden applauded at the time, saying, “The president did the right thing by walking away. A bad deal is worse than no deal.”

“Some of the activity that’s taken place, as you can see from the president’s Twitter, isn’t something that’s bothering the president,” said Sanders on “Meet the Press.” “He still feels good about the relationship that he has and about Chairman Kim’s commitment that he made to the president.”

But Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, said that there was “no doubt” the short-range missile tests in early May violated U.N. resolutions and argued that sanctions against North Korea remain in place.

“U.N. Security Council resolutions prohibit North Korea from firing any ballistic missiles,” Bolton told reporters Saturday in Tokyo. “In terms of violating U.N. Security Council resolutions, there is no doubt about that.”

Japan’s Abe, with whom Trump was playing golf when he tweeted that “North Korea fired off some small weapons,” has also decried the tests as a violation, calling them “extremely regrettable” last week.

When asked if Trump agrees with “the prime minister of Japan and his own national security adviser that North Korea has violated a U.N. resolution with these tests,” Sanders said, “Look, the president’s focus in all of this process is on continuing the very good relationship that he has with Chairman Kim. And he feels good that the chairman will stay firm with the commitment that he made to the president and move towards denuclearization.”

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