They never uttered Trump's name, but the parents of slain teen Otto Warmbier made it clear they were not happy with Trump for believing North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un's lies about their son's death.
Fred and Cindy Warmbier, the parents of a teenage boy who died after being tortured in a North Korean labor camp, are finally speaking out after Trump took the side of the man they hold responsible for their son's death.
"We have been respectful during this summit process. Now we must speak out. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for the death of our son Otto," the couple wrote in a statement, published by NBC News. "Kim and his evil regime are responsible for unimaginable cruelty and inhumanity. No excuses or lavish praise can change that."
The Warmbier's statement never mentioned Trump by name. But they were clearly referencing his praise on North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un during the failed summit — and the fact that Trump sided with Kim's denials over U.S. intelligence officials' conclusions about the death of Otto Warmbier.
Warmbier died in 2017 after he was returned home from a North Korean labor camp in a coma. North Korea denied responsibility for his death, but U.S. intelligence agencies do indeed hold the North Korean regime responsible.
“I really believe something very bad happened to him, and I don’t think that the top leadership knew about it,” Trump said, referring to Otto Warmbier's death.
Trump went on to say that Kim “felt very badly" about Otto's death.
"He tells me that he didn’t know about it, and I will take him at his word," Trump said.
This is not the first time Trump has sided with a dictator and his denials over the U.S. intelligence community.
Trump also said he believed Russian President Vladimir Putin's claims not to have known anything about Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election. That's the complete opposite of what U.S. intelligence agencies concluded.
Trump's siding with Kim left at least one former military official speechless.
“It kind of took my breath away to listen to that,” retired Admiral John Kirby said on CNN. “I can’t but imagine what it must have been like for Mr. Warmbier’s parents and the family to hear him say that.”
Now we've heard from Warmbier's parents directly — and they are just as angry as you might expect.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.