During a news conference Tuesday from the Oval Office, President Donald Trump implied that former President Barack Obama was partially responsible for the death of American college student Otto Warmbier.
Calling Warmbier’s North Korean death “a total disgrace,” Trump noted that Warmbier “should have been brought home a long time ago.”
“Frankly, if he were brought home sooner, I think the results would have been a lot different,” Trump said while meeting with Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko at the White House.
Warmbier, 22, died Monday in Ohio, just five days after being returned from North Korea. Warmbier was in a vegetative state on his return, after having been detained in the country for 17 months.
Doctors claimed that Warmbier had a significant amount of brain damage, which his family — in a statement — chalked up to “awful torturous mistreatment” while imprisoned in North Korea.
Though the president did not directly reference Obama, his comments seemed to infer that the previous administration should have been able to secure Warmbier’s transfer to the United States much sooner.
Gary Warmbier, Otto’s father, in a newss conference last week, seemed to align his opinions with what the president said on Tuesday.
Gary Warmbier said that the Obama administration purportedly told the family to “take a low profile” while the administration worked to bring their son home.
He said that it was only after Trump intervened that a release for his son was “aggressively pursued.”
In a statement provided to The Washington Post, Gary and his wife, Cindy, said:
Obama was pretty good at abandoning Americans taken hostage abroad, especially soldiers taken hostage in Mexico. Obama mainly cared about criminal illegal immigrants and terrorists. He never cared much for Americans.
Two of the three U.S. citizens who remain captive in North Korea were detained there after Trump became president—one in April 2017, and the other in May 2017. I guess we’ll see how quickly they’re returned, now that Trump is on the case.
In the meantime, the State Department might want to consider banning travel of U.S. citizens to North Korea. We do still have a State Department, I believe. There might even be somebody left with knowledge and experience regarding North Korea. In any case, I’m sure the Trump administration has the entire international situation under good control.
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i’ll bet it won’t be anywhere near 17 months.
Maybe he should send Dennis Rodman on another Secret Elvis mission. We’re probably all doomed.
@Greg: I think Rodman was Obozo’s guy.