Trump Calls Kim Jong-un a ‘Real Leader’ in Hannity Interview

“He’s a real personality and he’s very smart. He’s sharp as you can be,” president says of North Korean leader

Last Updated: March 1, 2019 @ 8:50 AM

President Trump continued to sing Kim Jong-un’s praises in a new interview with Sean Hannity, calling the North Korean politician a “real leader,” among other compliments.

“He’s a character and he’s a real personality and he’s very smart. He’s sharp as you can be,” Trump told Hannity in a sit down interview on Thursday night. “He’s a real leader.”

The president immediately added Kim was “pretty mercurial” —  but that he didn’t “say that necessarily in a bad way.”

Trump’s comments follow his trip to Vietnam for a second in-person meeting with Kim. Talks of nuclear disarmament, according to The New York Times on Thursday, fizzled out over a disagreement on lifting stiff sanctions on North Korea.

“It was about the sanctions,” Trump said. “Basically they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, but we couldn’t do that.”

On Thursday, Trump said he didn’t believe Kim knew about the treatment of American student Otto Warmbier, who was sentenced to 15 years hard labor in early 2016 on charges he stole a North Korean propaganda poster. Warmbier was returned to the U.S. in a comatose state in June 2017 and died shortly after. Kim, according to Trump, “felt very badly about” Warmbier’s death.

The Warmbier family, in a statement to MSNBC on Friday, responded to the president’s recent comments.

“We have been respectful during this summit process,” the family said.”Now we must speak out. 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.”

The Warmbiers added:  “No excuses or lavish praise can change that.”