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Trump is getting dragged by all sides for his Otto Warmbier comment in Hanoi, but it's 'complicated,' at the very least

At his press conference this morning in Hanoi, President Donald Trump raised quite a few eyebrows when he said that he believed Kim Jong Un when he said that he didn’t know what led to Otto Warmbier falling into a coma while he was in a North Korean prison:


“I will take him at his word,” said the president:

CNN’s Jim Acosta called the moment “odd”:

Others think this showed American weakness:

Or worse:

Even conservatives piled on:


Rick Santorum called it “despicable”:

But. . .

Reporter Doug Bock Clark, in this exhaustive investigation for GQ, found that it’s likely Warmbier attempted suicide early on in his incarceration which is what led to the coma, but nobody knows what really happened:

We’re not saying Warmbier was treated well, but it’s just that there is no evidence that he was physically tortured during his months in captivity:


But there is evidence Warmbier received “good care” after he went into a coma. Dr. Michael Flueckiger, a trauma doctor who went over to North Korea to return Warmbier to America, found that he was “well nourished and had no bedsores, an accomplishment even Western hospitals struggle to achieve with comatose patients.” From the article:

The North Koreans asked Flueckiger to sign a report testifying that Otto had been well cared for in the hospital. “I would have been willing to fudge that report if I thought it would get Otto released,” Flueckiger said. “But as it turned out,” despite the most basic facilities (the room’s sink did not even work), “he got good care, and I didn’t have to lie.” Otto was well nourished and had no bedsores, an accomplishment even Western hospitals struggle to achieve with comatose patients. But the North Koreans were still not ready to release Otto.

It’s “complicated,” at the very least:

Maybe Trump’s got this one right (or closer to being right than his earlier rhetoric)?


Video of the q-and-a here:



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