President Donald Trump isn’t necessarily “siding with” North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, but the two are in agreement on former Vice President Joe Biden, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Chuck Todd on Sunday morning.
Late Saturday, Trump downplayed recent North Korean missile tests in a tweet, and also referred to Kim’s criticism of Biden, who recently announced his 2020 presidential bid.
“North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me,” Trump wrote. “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?” (The tweet was deleted and then reposted. Trump had misspelled Biden’s name in the first version.)
On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” host Todd referenced Trump’s tweet, and asked Sanders whether Americans should be “concerned that the president of the United States is essentially siding with a murderous authoritarian dictator over a former vice president of the United States.”
“Chuck, the president’s not siding with that,” Sanders said. “But I think they agree in their assessment of former Vice President Joe Biden.”
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“The president doesn’t need somebody else to give him an assessment of Joe Biden,” she added. “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 [Barack] Obama fail for eight years. He’s come in in two and a half, he’s cleaned up a lot of the messes that were left behind.”
Sanders went on to say that Trump shouldn’t have to “deal with” North Korea at all, but that the previous administration failed on North Korea, Iran and trade and now it’s up to Trump to be “tough with these countries.”
“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 No. 2 slot.”
Biden‘s campaign mocked the Trump tweet. "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,” a campaign official said Sunday.
Sanders is in Tokyo with Trump for the first official state visit since Emperor Naruhito assumed the throne. Trump will also meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
On Wednesday, Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency said of remarks about North Korea made by Biden: “What he uttered is just sophism of an imbecile bereft of elementary quality as a human being, let alone a politician.” KCNA also called him “a fool of low IQ” and mocked Biden for thinking he is a popular candidate. ″This is enough to make a cat laugh,” the report said.