Trump impressed by how North Koreans ‘sit up at attention’ for Kim Jong Un

President says he wants ‘my people to do the same’

Donald Trump
(Image credit: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

Donald Trump has spoken of his admiration for the way North Koreans “sit up at attention” for their leader Kim Jong Un - and expressed a wish for his own “people” to do the same.

In an off-the-cuff interview on the White House lawn, the US president also “referred to FBI leadership as ‘scum’, denied rumours his wife Melania underwent facelift surgery, and suggested former FBI chief James Comey should go to prison”, the Daily Beast reports.

However, Trump’s most controversial remarks came when Fox News reporter Steve Doocy asked about the North Korean dictator.

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“He is the head of a country and I mean he is the strong head,” Trump said.

“Don't let anyone think anything different. He speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same.”

Pressed to expand on that final comment, Trump later said he was “kidding”.

Since returning from Singapore, where the two leaders signed a landmark joint statement on Tuesday, Trump has been lavishing praise on the North Korean dictator.

In an interview earlier this week, Trump applauded the way Kim had taken over control of North Korea as Supreme Leader following the death of his father, Kim Jong Il, in 2011.

“If you can do that at 27 years old, I mean that’s one in 10,000 that could do that,” said the president, adding: “He’s a very smart guy, he’s a great negotiator.”

Despite such praise, newly emerging insider reports from the talks suggest that the summit did not go as smoothly as Trump might suggest.

Delicate preparations for the on-again, off-again talks were apparently almost thrown out of balance last Sunday, when an “antsy and bored” Trump tried to have his meeting with Kim brought forward by a day, according to The Washington Post, which cites two sources.

“Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders eventually convinced Trump to stick to the agreed-upon date,” says Business Insider.

The persuasive pair reportedly reminded the ratings-conscious president that “changing the date from Tuesday to Monday could adversely affect television coverage, as it would be Sunday night in the United States”, CNN reports.

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